Is Carlos Ruiz' Hot Start Sustainable?

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is having the best year of his career and to this point, has the been the Phillies best offensive player. He's hitting .355 with 7 HRs, 29 RBI and an OPS of .999. He's getting on base over 40% of the time. He deserves to make the All Star game on the back of this start and hopefully he will.

But is this tear he's been on sustainable? According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, the answer is no.

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Career years almost never come in age-33 seasons – especially the age-33 seasons of catchers, none of whom in history have cracked a 1.000 OPS (Ruiz is at .999) and only six of whom have gone over .900.

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Ruiz this year has swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone and made contact with a lower percentage, which doesn't bode well. No, he doesn't miss balls in the strike zone and rarely strikes out, but the hard contact he's making now is likelier a small-sample-size mirage than a fundamental overhaul in his offensive fortunes.

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It's really hard to argue Passan's point. Ruiz is playing far above his career averages and generally ballplayers don't suddenly become superstars at age 33. Still, that doesn't diminish what Chooch has done so far and how valuable he's been this season. He's going to cool off at some point, but we can just hope Utley and or Howard is back by then to help pick up the slack.

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