Ruiz understands diminished playing time

Phillies getting looks at Rupp as veteran catcher struggles with production

Ruiz understands diminished playing time

PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Ruiz still considers himself the Phillies' No. 1 catcher, but he also sees what is happening in front of him.

Cameron Rupp has started three consecutive games behind the plate, including Tuesday night's game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He also has started six of the last nine and 10 of the last 18.

Ruiz, who is one of the only remaining pieces from the 2008 World Series championship team, said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has not discussed his situation with him, but said, "I'm good. I'm ready to go. I'm not swinging the bat well. I have no excuse. At the same time, I'll keep working and stay in good shape. That's the only thing I can control. But I feel good."

Ruiz entered Tuesday night's game hitting .227 (37-for-163) with six doubles, 11 RBIs and a .560 OPS in 49 games. Rupp is hitting .265 (22-for-83) with four doubles, one triple, four RBIs and a .671 OPS in 26 games.

Rupp's RBI double

It is a very similar situation to what is happening at second base with Chase Utley and Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez has started three consecutive games at second base and six of the last nine, although Utley started two of those games as a designated hitter and one game as a first baseman.

"I don't know what they're thinking, but I will play when they give me the chance, and we'll see what happens," Ruiz said.

The Phillies have looked into trading Ruiz, like every other veteran on the roster. It is unclear if anything has been close, but there certainly are hurdles. First and foremost, Ruiz has a little more than half of this year's $8.5 million salary on the books. He also makes $8.5 million next season, plus has a $500,000 buyout on a 2017 club option.

The Phillies would need to eat a large portion of that contract.

"I don't have any control over that," Ruiz said. "But I'm happy I'm still in a Phillies uniform. We'll see."

Ruiz remains the consummate team player, which is why he has been one of the most liked and well-respected players in the Phillies' clubhouse for years. He sees his struggles, he sees Rupp swinging a good bat and he understands the team is trying to win.

"When given the chance, I have to improve with my bat," Ruiz said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.