While waiting for Carlos Ruiz, a catcher evaluation

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Phillies catcher Erik Kratz. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

CINCINNATI — On Monday, Erik Kratz hit into a double play and could not block a Cliff Lee curveball to prevent a run from scoring. He is 0 for his last 10. Dating back to last September, Kratz is hitting .169 (15 for 89) with six extra-base hits.

The countdown to Carlos Ruiz's return started long ago. Kratz's performance has only pressed things. Ruiz, suspended 25 games for illegal Adderall use, is eligible to return April 28. After Tuesday, that means 11 more games without the regular catcher.

Humberto Quintero started Tuesday. It has not mattered who is behind the plate; offense has lacked from the position. Phillies catchers entered play Tuesday with a .486 OPS. That ranked 29th in baseball. The Reds catchers (.326 OPS) were worse.

Last season, Phillies catchers led the majors with an .861 OPS.

Kratz has an option remaining and could be sent to the minors without passing through waivers. Quintero cannot.

"They can count," Charlie Manuel said. "When people start coming back we’re going to have to make some changes on our roster."


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