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Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz will become eligible for Hall of Fame ballot in 2023


Jayson Werth spent four seasons with the Phillies.(Photo by Rich Kane/Icon Sportswire)

At least two members of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies will become eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year.

Jayson Werth — who played for the Phillies between 2007 and 2011 — will be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot in 2023. While Werth racked up 1,465 hits and 36.1 fWAR during his 15-year career, he doesn’t have much of a Hall of Fame case, and figures to fall off the ballot after one year.

Still, Werth’s place in recent MLB history shouldn’t be discounted.

The Phillies made the playoffs in all four of Werth’s seasons with the team, and his 11 postseason home runs are the most in franchise history. Werth made an All-Star team with the Phillies in 2009, when he homered 36 times and drove in 99 runs. A season later, Werth led baseball with 46 doubles in what turned out to be his final season with the Phillies.

Werth became a free agent following the 2010 season, and landed a seven-year/$126 million deal from the division-rival Washington Nationals. For a franchise that had relocated from Montreal in 2005, the signing of Werth was a landmark moment for the Nationals. The Nationals reached the postseason for the first time in 2012, and four times in Werth’s seven seasons with the team. In September of 2018, Werth was inducted into the Nationals’ Ring of Honor.

Meanwhile, Carlos Ruiz, who lasted played in 2017, will also become eligible for the ballot next year. Affectionally referred to as “Chooch,” Ruiz spent parts of 10 seasons with the Phillies, and was a National League All-Star in 2012.

While Ruiz had his fair share of big hits, his top attribute as a player was definitely his work behind the plate. Yadier Molina may have blocked him from winning any Gold Glove Awards in the senior circuit, but pitchers — including Hall of Famer Roy Halladay — loved working with Ruiz:

Ruiz was behind the plate for four no-hitters thrown by Phillies pitchers, which matched an MLB record. Most notably, Ruiz was behind the plate when Halladay tossed the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history in Game 1 of the 2011 NLDS.

Like Werth, Ruiz is likely to fall off the ballot after one year. Two of Ruiz’s former teammates — Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard — fell off in 2022, their first (and now only) year on the ballot.

Ruiz is a pretty sure bet to one day be elected onto the Phillies Wall of Fame. Werth, despite a relatively short stint with the Phillies, certainly could be a candidate as well.

Three other former Phillies — Joe Blanton, Chad Qualls and Joaquin Benoit — meet the standards of having played at least 10 years in the league and having been retired for five years to be eligible for the ballot in 2023 as well. However, there is a screening committee that whittles down eligible candidates to make the ballot manageable for voters, and it’s unclear if any of that trio, especially the final two, will make it beyond that barrier.

In 2023, Werth and Ruiz will join four other former Phillies on the Hall of Fame ballot; Billy Wagner, Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu and Jimmy Rollins.

2024 will be a bigger year for former Phillies on the Hall of Fame ballot, as six-time All-Star Chase Utley will make his debut. So will another six-time All-Star in José Bautista, who finished a career largely spent with the Toronto Blue Jays with the Phillies.

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