4/25/2013 7:07 P.M. ET
Nix uses special bat to honor Texas victims
By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Laynce Nix decided to let his bat do the talking Thursday.
The Houston native had his bat company, Victus, manufacture two special bats for him, with "Pray for West, Texas; April 17, 2013," printed on barrels as a tribute to those who died and were injured in the horrific fertilizer factory explosion.
One of the bats was autographed by several teammates. Nix had the other in the on-deck circle before being pinch-hit for in the sixth inning of Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Pirates, but took it to New York with him after the game. Once he uses it, he'll sign it, and both will be auctioned off to raise money for the community.
"[Former big leaguer] Scott Podsednik is from West, Texas. It's his hometown. Besides that, I don't know anybody from there, but I know those people around the area," Nix said. "I just wanted to make sure we let them know that our hearts and prayers go out to them. They haven't been forgotten. It's the least we can do while we're busy doing our work, and hopefully we can help them out with a signed bat and whatever they need."
The Victus representative was able to quickly turn around the order. Victus also made a similar bat for Red Sox left fielder/designated hitter Jonny Gomes to use when the Sox played their first game at Fenway Park after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Manuel empathizes with catchers as Chooch returns
PHILADELPHIA -- All systems appear to be go for catcher Carlos Ruiz to be reinstated Sunday in New York after sitting out the first 25 games of the season for testing positive for a banned amphetamine. And that makes everybody around the Phillies happy.
Well, almost everybody.
The reality is that when Ruiz arrives, it's likely that one of the two catchers on the roster -- Erik Kratz or Humberto Quintero -- will go. Manager Charlie Manuel is sensitive to how nerve-wracking that must be for his two receivers.
"That's a tough situation, because you definitely want to stay in the big leagues," Manuel said. "You want to stay on a team, let's face it. I'm not saying they feel this way, but if it was me, I can tell you how I would feel. I would probably be thinking more of myself and wanting to stay in the big leagues and what it means to you than anything else."
The worry, of course, is that a player in that situation will put too much pressure on himself to perform.
"That's the part you have to handle. And when I was young, that's the part I had trouble handling," Manuel said. "Sometimes, I think I can understand things because I've been through those things. I remember when I was younger, it was hard for me to understand why I didn't play, hard to understand why I got sent out. Especially when I felt like I was better than someone else. That's tough.
"You're inclined to try hard, over-try -- like every at-bat the world's coming to an end, and every play you have to make. And if you're not careful, how you handle it usually indicates what happens to you."
Ruiz, who had been playing with Class A Clearwater, traveled Thursday. He's scheduled to play for Double-A Reading on Friday and Saturday, then join the Phillies at Citi Field in time for Sunday's game.
"He was obviously our best player last year," said Cliff Lee. "Getting him back can only help. His bat and his game-calling and his leadership behind the plate can definitely help us."
Revere rests as Manuel takes look at Carrera
PHILADELPHIA -- Center fielder Ben Revere, who had started every game this season, was out of the lineup Thursday afternoon against the Pirates. He got a break partly because he's dealing with a nagging quad injury, partly because he has three hits in his past 19 at-bats over five games, and partly because manager Charlie Manuel wanted to get a look at Ezequiel Carrera, who the Phillies claimed off waivers April 2 from the Indians.
"I think Revere needs a little break. I told him [Wednesday] night after the game that he was going to get a day off. We'll see where it goes," Manuel said. "And I think we need to take a look at Carrera, too. He's only [started] one game since we got him, and there are some things, as far as his actions, that I like.
"The one game we played [Carrera], we played him in right field, and he moves pretty good. He's had trouble getting some hits, at the same time he hit a couple balls hard. Just the way he runs and does some things when I watch him practice, I think we've got to see him and see what he can do."
Said Revere: "[Wednesday] night it felt a little bit worse, so we're trying to take a little different approach. It's the first time I've ever had quad trouble. So we'll just see how it feels [Friday]."
• Lee threw 122 pitches Thursday, four shy of his career high.
• Lee was thrown out trying to steal second in the fifth when Pirates pitcher James McDonald threw behind him. "Basically, I had it. I just got too antsy and took off a hair too early. I've got to wait for him to go to the plate," Lee said.
• The Phillies are 4-11 this season in games started by Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Lee.
• When Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both homered Wednesday night, it was the 48th time they have homered in the same game. According to Elias, that's the most for any duo in Phillies history and the most of any active teammates.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.