[Editor's note: Promoted from the FanPosts to give props to Chooch. Nice work, schmenkman.]
The Phillies have played 88 games now dating back to August 1, including 15 postseason games.
In those 88 games, a bit more than half a season's worth, the Phillies starting 8 rank like this in OPS:
1. Howard .987
2. Ruiz .953
3. Werth .934
4. Utley .901
5. Rollins .793
6. Victorino .746
7. Ibanez .720
8. Feliz/Polanco .674
Why 88 games and August 1? Simply because that's when Chooch came out of his slump and started having an impact at the plate, so it's admittedly an artificial cutoff meant to make him look good. Note that Ruiz only has 232 PA's over this period, while the rest have between 325 (Ibanez) and 380 (Howard).
How has Ruiz done this?
.440 OBP, thanks to a .316 avg and 42 walks (hitting in front of the pitcher helps).
.513 SLG, with 17 doubles and 6 home runs in only 187 at bats.
So should Ruiz be getting fewer days off to keep his bat in the lineup, or is he doing this well partly because he gets the occassional rest? I don't know.
Of course, Chooch's value is primarily due to his defense and handling of the staff, and any hitting is viewed as gravy. So this is a good bit of gravy.
Is it sustainable? His BABIP over this period is .325, compared to .255 in his 1,100+ PAs before Aug. 1, so probably not at this level.
Just fyi, if you exclude the postseason, the rank order is the same for the 73 regular season games since Aug. 1:
1. Howard .990
2. Ruiz .912
3. Werth .894
4. Utley .863
5. Rollins .841
6. Victorino .708
7. Ibanez .698
8. Feliz/Polanco .698