With fresh faces on the way for their series in New York, could a catching move also be in the cards for the Phillies?
Aside from injuries, teams usually stay the course behind the plate. Heck, if Sal Fasano, Mike Lieberthal and Rod Barajas hadn’t been hurt at various points the last few seasons, Chris Coste would have never been given a shot.
Looks can be deceiving, but just a hunch that Coste is now the injured party. Following that train wreck collision just a few weeks ago, Coste’s numbers have plummeted, making that two catchers, Carlos Ruiz being the other, who’ve produced little in weeks.
The Phillies have said that Lou Marson’s next step is Triple-A. That was before he was selected to the Olympic team. That means Jason Jaramillo, 25, would be next in line. The switching-hitting catcher, who was named to the Triple-A All-Star team, is a brass-tacks handler and mid-range prospect, but his ascent has been slow. Unlike Marson, he’s had plenty of time to develop, and now might be the right time for his long-awaited audition.
Ruiz has gone from bad to worse. Like Myers, the struggling catcher may need to be demoted to figure out how to hit again. He hasn’t improved on the fly, and with the offense scuffling, they can’t afford the added drag.
If Coste is truly hurt – and it certainly looks that way - then perhaps it’s time for a trip to the DL. Call up Jaramillo. If Jaramillo does well, option Ruiz upon Coste’s return. Or, they could option Ruiz right now. Coste also has options.
Here’s another scenario. They could release So Taguchi, who doesn’t have a purpose, and carry three catchers, making Coste strictly a PH until he recharges the batteries. If Jaramillo works out, decide what happens from there.
Remember, Jaramillo was the one catching Brett Myers in his starts at Lehigh Valley, while Joe Blanton has a clean slate. Blanton and Myers are scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday. It wouldn't be that much of an adjustment from the pitching end. Maybe it’s time to see what Jaramillo can do. Compared to Ruiz, he couldn't possibly be worse, at least with the stick.