Ruiz had a remarkable year in 2012, hitting .325 with a .935 OPS and .368 with a 1.043 OPS with runners in scoring position.
After a hot start, Kratz ended the year with a .248/.306/.504 line.
Quintero hit .232 with a .598 OPS for the Royals.
The 2013 Phillies won’t need Kratz and Quintero in April as much as the 2012 Phillies needed Ruiz in April because Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will be playing games in the season’s first month this time. And the Phillies have been successful in recent years even when their catchers didn’t hit. In three of five seasons from 2007-11, Phillies catchers had an OPS of .725 or lower.
Quintero has never been a good hitter. He’s hit between .226 and .240 with an OBP between .257 and .281 in each of the last six seasons. He has no platoon split. Behind the plate, Quintero’s caught stealing percentage of 33% is slightly above league-average. He figures to play two of every five or six games in April.
Kratz, you know all about. He came up after 11 seasons in the minors, had a historic first 120 plate appearances that put him in a sentence with Ted Williams, but then tailed off as pitchers adjusted. They stopped throwing him fastballs and Kratz continuously swung and missed at breaking balls low and away. You get the feeling that once he took Craig Kimbrel deep on an inside fastball in Atlanta, the league took notice.
Anywho, back to the topic at hand. All the Phillies need out of their catchers in April is solid defense and something like .245/.310/.400. That would actually be a pleasant surprise.
Kratz can’t be expected to replicate his power stroke from 2012 and Quintero has never had above-average pop. The hardest part of that wishful slash line is probably the .310 OBP, since Quintero has 41 walks in 10 seasons and close to 1,300 plate appearances.
With the catcher likely batting eighth in April there should be a greater emphasis on this duo being patient to turn the lineup over.
What the Phillies can’t afford is no patience and a ton of double plays out of their catchers early on. Kratz hit into just two in 32 opportunities last season. Quintero, though, has 41 GIDPs in 234 career opportunities.
GIDPs could be a common occurrence for this Phillies team, which already gives enough outs away by not having too many high-OBP guys. Michael Young and Delmon Young combined for 46 double plays last season and Howard put the ball on the ground at the second-highest rate of his career.