Darin Ruf slowed by arm soreness

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Phillies want Darin Ruf to accumulate as many at-bats as possible this spring. So when he did not play Tuesday and only pinch-hit in the eighth inning Wednesday, it raised a red flag.

As it turns out, Ruf had been dealing with some arm soreness as a result of his position switch from first base to left field. The strain from a bevy of throwing drills caused it.

"My arm just wasn't used to that yet," Ruf said. "It was a little sore in the bicep area. It's normal. It was feeling great today."

Manager Charlie Manuel said Ruf is "fine." Ruf said he expects to play Thursday. He is 0 for 9 to start the spring.

"He needs to get a hit and he'll be all right," Manuel said. "He's trying a little too hard."

EXTRA BASES. Chase Utley did not make the long trip, as planned. He was back in Clearwater taking batting practice with those who stayed behind. He will play Thursday, Manuel said. … Ryan Howard has started in all five games and will play again Thursday. … Phillies Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning was in attendance for Wednesday's game.

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