Philly Sports Live

Carlos Ruiz to Third Base?

(Via Philliedelphia)

An interest report emerged during the Phillies-Nationals game tonight from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It appears that the Phillies have been thinking about using Carlos Ruiz at third base on occasion next season:

A source said Ruben Amaro Jr. recently discussed with Ruiz the possibility of playing some third base in 2013. Amaro confirmed Wednesday the team has “talked internally a little bit” about the idea and did not consider it far-fetched.

Ruiz has played third base twice for the Phillies: one game in 2008 for three outs that allowed Chris Coste to pinch hit and enter the game a little earlier than Ruiz departed, and one inning during the Phillies’ 19 inning thriller in 2011.  Those who arrive to Phillies games early may have notice Ruiz taking ground balls at third base regularly.  It’s worth noting too that Johnny Bench, Joe Torre, and Russell Martin all have played intermittently at thrid base while primarily being catchers.

In May as the Phillies’ lineup was faltering, I suggested the Phillies using Carlos Ruiz give him his “days off” from behind the plate at first base, but also noted that Ruiz would be perfectly capable at third base.

The Phillies have Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle as catching options down the line, but I wonder what their motivation is to try Ruiz at third base next year.  Third base will be vacant this offseason; does this mean the Phillies will not be looking for a strong offense third baseman and maybe instead filling the position to Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, or as some suggested Chase Utley?

If there is an experiment to be made, why wait until next season?  Placido Polanco will be battling injury the rest of the year in all likelihood and the playing time will go to the likes of Kevin Frandsen or Michael Martinez.

August and September, 2012 is for experiments.  If you’re going to try it, Ruben and Charlie, do it now.