Ruiz starting to find his groove at the plate

Ruiz starting to find his groove at the plate

NEW YORK -- It has been a good month for Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, so good it could keep him in Philadelphia.

Ruiz entered Tuesday's game hitting .329 (26-for-79) with six doubles, four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .918 OPS since July 28. He was hitting just .253 (38-for-150) with four doubles, nine RBIs and a .581 OPS in his first 46 games.

Ruiz is a free agent following the season. A month ago it seemed unlikely he would be back, considering he turns 35 in January, has spent each of the past five seasons on the disabled list and his declining production following a 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant. But this past month might have changed the front office's outlook.

"Chooch is playing well," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We'll see how things play out through the end of the year. Obviously, we have some familiarity with Chooch. He's starting to play better overall baseball. He's healthy now and he's had a chance to get his feet on the ground. He was playing catchup for a while."

Asked about Ruiz's age and injury history, Amaro said, "It's something we have to keep in mind. At the same time, we have to figure out what the rest of the landscape is with free-agent catching. There's not a lot of it out there, but there are some choices out there that could be intriguing. We have to weigh all those things together."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.