May 10, 2010, 8:09 AM EDT
No it's not too early. It's the perfect time—to start.
Nevermind the folk hero status. The always-great defensive play, calling games, gunning runners, and protecting the plate. Carlos Joaquin Ruiz deserves YOUR vote for the 2010 All-Star Game based on his play with the bat in his hands.
A quick look at Chooch's stats to date:
.465 OBP, good for first in the National League at any position
.325 BA, eighth in the NL
21 walks, eighth in the NL (and remember, as a catcher, he gets more days off than other position players)
1 HR, certainly won't put him at the top of any lists, but what a tater it was.
He's taking a ton of pitches, making opposing pitchers work to get through the bottom of the order, and setting the table for the top. That's been huge with Jimmy Rollins on the shelf for most of the season to date.
Considering that Jayson Werth is well on his way to his second straight appearance, along with presumably Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, why not see if we can't get Ruiz to complete the battery with Roy Halladay? Of course, with Charlie Manuel picking the reserves, Chooch could very well get in anyway, but I think we can band together and make him a starter… Take a look at his comp too. Do you want Rod Barajas getting anywhere near this thing? No.
So please go ahead and get Carlos Ruiz an early lead in the NL All-Star voting to match his great start to the season. And while you're there, you should obviously cast a vote for each of the other Phils starters.
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