By Sam Bush

Nobody in Phillies Nation thinks Cameron Rupp is the catcher of the future.

That would be Jorge Alfaro, the cannon-armed prospect traded to Philly in the Cole Hamels deal.

But Rupp is hitting .230 with six doubles, one triple, four home runs, 15 RBIs and a .635 OPS in 49 games this season. And he has hit three of those home runs and tallied eight of those RBIs in six games this month.

“I’m feeling comfortable,” Rupp said. “I’m getting pitches to hit that I can drive, staying within myself and trying not to do too much. I think there’s more there [offensively].”

Phillies catchers entered Wednesday’s game with the D;Backs with a .600 OPS, which ranked 23rd out of 30 teams in baseball. Carlos Ruiz is hitting .215 with 11 doubles, two home runs, 18 RBIs and a .583 OPS in 70 games. Ruiz’s OPS is 37 points lower than his career-low .620 OPS in 2008.

Ruiz is one of the three remaining players from the 2008 World Series championship team. He is signed through next season, while Rupp remains under team control. It would not be a surprise to see both players back next season.

“I can see an improvement in Rupp over the last month or so,” Mackanin said. “He’s not hitting for the average but he looks a little bit more dangerous now. Especially after hitting those home runs. Chooch, to me, is a better hitter than he’s shown this year. We’ll see. We’ve got a lot of games left. We’ll see how everything develops.”

But the Phillies have a couple of players knocking on the door. They acquired Alfaro in the Cole Hamels trade with Texas. considers Alfaro the No. 68 prospect in baseball because of his power at the plate and his cannon for an arm behind it.

Andrew Knapp is tearing up the Eastern League, too. After being promoted from Class A Advanced Clearwater, Knapp has hit .406 with 17 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 41 RBIs and a 1.139 OPS in 35 games with Double-A Reading.

But in the meantime, the Phillies need more from Ruiz and Rupp, who made a nice swipe tag on a play at the plate in the eighth, preventing Chris Owings from scoring the tying run.

“I did everything I could to keep him from being safe,” Rupp said.


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