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Phillies Notes: Phillies' Ruiz battling foot injury

ATLANTA - This was bound to happen. Carlos Ruiz is tied for the most games played by a catcher this season and only three others have squatted behind home plate for more innings. He raced through the first half of the season with a .350 batting average and largely avoided the hazards of everyday catching.

"It felt like a knife in the back of my foot," Carlos Ruiz said of his ailing foot. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
"It felt like a knife in the back of my foot," Carlos Ruiz said of his ailing foot. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read more

ATLANTA - This was bound to happen. Carlos Ruiz is tied for the most games played by a catcher this season and only three others have squatted behind home plate for more innings. He raced through the first half of the season with a .350 batting average and largely avoided the hazards of everyday catching.

Then he woke up one morning in Los Angeles two weeks ago and his left foot started bothering him. Soon, it became hard to walk in the mornings. Manager Charlie Manuel termed it mild plantar fasciitis.

It became such an issue that Ruiz pinch-hit last week against Milwaukee wearing sneakers instead of cleats - and tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

"It felt like a knife in the back of my foot," Ruiz said.

He sat again Saturday, which represented his second time on the bench in the Phillies' last three games. He plans to play Sunday afternoon. Combined with off days in the schedule, Ruiz will have the luxury of sitting four out of six days.

He needs it.

"It's good to have a day off," Ruiz said.

Ruiz noted there is improvement in the foot, especially Saturday. He has done some different stretches and received treatment for the injury.

He is tied with St. Louis' Yadier Molina in games played (87) among all major-league catchers and fourth in innings caught (696). Ruiz set a career high in games played last season with 132 and is on pace for 147 in 2012.

Since the start of that series in Los Angeles, Ruiz is hitting .267 (8 for 30) with four doubles. His season batting average is .344, which is the lowest since May 16 (.343).

"Chooch has had trouble with his foot," Manuel said. "At the same time, he can play."

Defensive woes

The Phillies allowed three more unearned runs Friday night, pushing their season total to 35 through 100 games. That is one more than in all of 2011.

Manuel ranted about his team's defense Saturday.

"We can sit and see mistakes we make," Manuel said. "I can go tell the guy. A coach can tell him and hit him balls. That's what makes Freddy Galvis so good. He already knows. If you don't know, then we can't win. I can't sit here and tell you."

"Once in a while [Ryan] Howard would make some mistakes. . . . Ryan always came out and worked and practiced to correct it. Those are things we have to get back to. It's easier said than done because then you get to the point where you question if someone can do it. If you're asking someone to do something they can't do, then that's not good."

Ostensibly, Manuel was referring to his current third basemen. The combination of Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot has made 10 errors in 33 games at third while the injured Placido Polanco has two in 78 games.

McCann's bombs

Braves catcher Brian McCann became the first player in history to homer in six straight games against the Phillies with yet another long ball Friday.

The single-season record for home runs vs. the Phillies is 10, done five times, all by Hall of Famers. They were: Joe Medwick (1937), Ralph Kiner (1949), Eddie Mathews (1955), Ernie Banks (1960), and Willie Mays (1961).

Extra bases

The Phillies do not expect Galvis to return to the majors in 2012, Manuel said. The infielder's 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs ends Aug. 16, but Galvis remains in a brace to stabilize his fractured back. He could play some in the fall instructional league come September. . . . Manuel said he contemplated starting Kevin Frandsen at third base Saturday and instead used Wigginton. . . . Shane Victorino had the third-longest errorless streak among active players before a bad throw in the first inning Saturday. He went 273 games without an error.

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