As Phillies break out, so does unsung slugger, catcher Cameron Rupp - Metro US

As Phillies break out, so does unsung slugger, catcher Cameron Rupp

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Cameron Rupp stood out front of his lockerdiscussing his team’s recent surge.

The Phillies have turned a corner, for now, winning three straight series for the first time since May 6-18. That in itself is an accomplishment, but it’s the way that they’re winning that’s making this run stick out. The offense has finally been hitting.

“We had a huge slump as a team and that’s part of the game,” Rupp said. “We battled out of it and we have a lot of young hitters that are learning how to hit in the big leagues. We’re not missing pitches.”

The catcher was speaking about the entire team, but that statement could very well summarize what’s been going on with Rupp. He has been a catalyst for this offense as of late.

Rupp has batted .400 on the homestand with 3 RBI and has reached base safely in 44 of the 53 games he’s played. He also leads the team in doubles with 17, which marks a career high. Among qualified catchers with at least 175 at bats, Rupp is tied for second in doubles and ranks fourth in OPS (.821). He’s also fifth in batting average.

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“Just coming out to play every day, no matter what,” Rupp said. “If the name is on the lineup card or not, I’m coming to the field prepared to play. When my name is on the lineup card, I’m ready to go.”

This is the first season for Rupp in which he’s been the everyday starter. Aside from Carlos Ruiz getting a start or two a week, Rupp has been the guy behind the plate. Perhaps that’s why his career season isn’t a surprise.

“I’m playing well,” Rupp said. “Whatever that means. I’m happy with my performance. I’m showing what I can do and hopefully I can show I belong here.”

Where Rupp stands in the organization is up for interpretation. The Phillies have some talent at the backstop with names like Jorge Alfaro and Jason Knapp hitting their way through the minor leagues. Right now, though, Rupp is doing all he can to stay.

He’s upped his average to .283 after dipping to a season-low .238 in the middle of May. Much of that success has to do with the way he’s approaching each bat, particularly when falling behind the count. His three-run home run on Sunday against Kansas City came with two strikes.

“You get to two strikes, you’re just trying to battle back and get your pitch,” Rupp said.

He’s been doing so with ease, and it’s really fueled his rise.

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