Ruiz went 2-for-3 in the Phillies' 4-1 win against the Baltimore Orioles on March 20, and he raised his batting average to .450 this spring.
The 70-mile bus trip to Sarasota is one veterans would rather avoid during the spring, but Ruiz came along so he could catch Halladay.
As the injury-plagued Phillies prepare to try to win their sixth straight National League East title, Ruiz has been a constant while others around him keep going down with injuries. Infielder Michael Martinez was the latest to get hurt. He broke a bone in his right foot when he was hit by a pitch against the Orioles.
"He calls a great game, blocks, throws guys out, does everything you want a catcher to do," Halladay said of Ruiz. "And then he hits when we need it. There's no reason he shouldn't be in consideration for a Gold Glove every year."
Signed as a second baseman out of Panama, Ruiz made the transition to catcher rather smoothly. He isn't afraid to take charge and make the calls he wants with a staff of aces throwing to him.
"You want to be good to catch those guys because that's my job to make them feel happy," Ruiz said. "It's a lot of work. It's not easy, but it's not hard. You have to put everything into it."
Halladay threw six solid innings against the Orioles, allowing one run and three hits. He had five strikeouts in what was by far his best outing this spring. The two-time Cy Young Award winner gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings in his last start against Minnesota last week. Halladay lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 6.59.
"When Doc (Halladay) first came here, I didn't know what he liked to do," Ruiz said. "It took a couple games in spring training to get used to him. I figured out right away that because he has great stuff, you can do a lot of different things, mix it up a lot because he has control. It makes it a little easy, but you have to think, where is he at, because it's not whatever I put down, he wants to use it."