Time and again, we’ve heard Phillies pitchers express confidence in Carlos Ruiz to catch whatever ball they throw in the general direction of homeplate.
Typically, when I hear such compliments, I always wonder, “is Chooch that good or is he just better than the last guy they threw to?” Of course, being a fan of the Phillies and Chooch, I always wanted to believe he was very good defensively, but there was always the small degree of skepticism.
At The Hardball Times, Bojan Koprivica has published an incredibly detailed study of the ability of catchers to block pitches thrown in the dirt. Magnificent undertaking. What’s more, he shows that Carlos Ruiz was the 6th best catcher in baseball at this skill.
In other news, in the incredibly slim chance that the Molina brothers will read this article, it is going to make for some awkward moments at the dinner table. But again, what are the chances that someone with a neck tattoo is going to read this article?