The struggles of Carlos Ruiz are well documented, but yesterday, Chris Coste snapped his own 0-for-24. They have five combined hits in July.
Driving home from work, I had to agree with Howard Eskin’s blunt observation of Chris Coste: "He's fried." The 35-year-old backstop is the first to admit he can’t carry the load, and lately, it appears the extra duty has taken a heavy toll. It's been a while since he's really driven a ball hard. Between the two, Costey has stepped to the plate for 45 percent of the total plate appearances. He's eight games away from matching his career high. On the season, he’s hitting .279/.333/.479 with 7 homers, with his production in sharp decline, while Ruiz is down to .202/.303/.269. Ruiz is wearing down, too, and he’s pressing at the plate. His last extra-base hit came – get this – June 13 in St. Louis. Now that's a power outage.
If anyone needs a break, it’s these two struggling catchers. It’s very difficult to swap out catchers mid-stream, and the Phillies have basically said "this is it."
Eaton out? I know everyone loves when I cite the King of Bling, but according to Eskin's sources, Adam Eaton is out and Brett Myers and J.A. Happ back in when the Phillies return from the break. Take what you will from this, but Eskin's sources are typically solid.
Home Run Derby Chat: Chase Utley joins Dan Uggla, Ryan Braun and Lance Berkman tonight when the National League battles American League sluggers Grady Sizemore, Josh Hamilton, Justin Morneau and Evan Longoria. Discuss the Derby, and other subjects, right here.