Friday, December 26, 2014

Ruf recalled from Triple-A

Darin Ruf's 2014 season will begin tonight in Miami, nearly two months since he suffered an oblique strain in spring training. He could find himself getting time in both left field and first base.

Ruf recalled from Triple-A

Darin Ruf #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies tries to leg out an infield single against the New York Mets during the 4th inning at Citizens Bank Park on September 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Darin Ruf #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies tries to leg out an infield single against the New York Mets during the 4th inning at Citizens Bank Park on September 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Following Tuesday night's game in Miami, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that Cliff Lee would be placed on the disabled list with an elbow strain.

The GM didn't announce the candidates likely to replace Lee, but since the Phillies don't need that starting pitcher (likely Triple-A righthander David Buchanan) until Saturday, they have three days to fill Lee's spot on the roster with someone other than a starting pitcher.

That player is Darin Ruf. 

Ruf was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday morning, six days after he was acivated from the disabled list. Ruf missed the season's first 7 weeks after suffering an oblique strain a week before camp broke in spring training in March.

In his last two games with the IronPigs, Ruf went 3-for-7 with 2 doubles and a home run.

"The last couple games, as of late, he’s been swinging the bat well," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said before Tuesday's game in Miami. "He’s progressing. ... He’s putting together some at-bats just in the last couple of days."

Ruf, 27, hit .247 with a .348 OBP, 35 extra-base hits (including 14 home runs) in 73 games with the Phillies last season. Nine of Ruf's 14 home runs last year came in August; only Miguel Cabrera and Alfonso Soriano, with 11 each, hit more home runs than Ruf last August.

Ruf doesn't have an obvious place in the Phillies lineup, however. Sandberg said Tuesday Ruf is an option in left field and first base; the manager didn't appear to be interested in sliding Marlon Byrd to center field to open a regular corner outfield spot for Ruf.

But with Domonic Brown's struggles in left, Ruf could find himself getting regular opportunities in the lineup. Brown is batting .216 with a .271 OBP and nine extra-base hits in 41 games this season.

Ruf is also an option to spell Ryan Howard at first base, especially when the Phillies are matched up against a lefthanded starting pitcher.

"With two lefthanded bats in those positions," Sandberg said of first base and left field, "(Ruf) is a guy that would have had an opportunity for some playing time there. He has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, and extra-base hits off the bench. He was looked at as that guy coming into spring training."

 

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Ryan Lawrence Daily News Staff Writer
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