Shortly after noon on Monday, Tyler Cloyd escorted the new kid into his new home. The fresh-faced, 26-year-old slugger was greeted in the Phillies clubhouse by catcher Steven Lerud, who was wearing a “Babe Ruf” t-shirt.
Darin Ruf arrived to the big leagues.
After setting his things down at his new locker stall – in the middle of the clubhouse about halfway between Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins – Ruf went in to meet his new, hitter-friendly manager. Charlie Manuel was wearing an ear-to-ear grin.
“I think (my smile) was probably a little bit bigger than his,” Ruf said.
One day removed from hitting his 39th home run for Double-A Reading, Ruf was officially a major leaguer. The Phils added the first baseman-turned-leftfielder on Monday, a day after the R-Phils postseason run ended.
Ruf is not starting on Monday night. But he likely won’t be sitting on the bench for long, either.
"(Charlie) said he wants to get me in there, see what I can do,” Ruf said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Since it was the kid’s first day in his new home, Manuel said he wanted to get a chance to see Ruf shag fly balls, take ground balls at first and take regular batting practice with his new teammates before plugging him into the lineup.
Despite Ruf’s short resume as an outfielder, he only began playing left field regularly in the last two months, and even though the Phils are quietly chasing a playoff spot, they entered Monday six games back of St. Louis for the National League’s second wild card, Manuel said he doesn’t have any hesitation in starting Ruf in the outfield.
“I think after you let him get into a good feel with where he’s at with the team, I’m going to play him some, yeah,” Manuel said. “Definitely. I’m going to take a look at him.”