Darin Ruf will make his first major-league start in left field, a sign the Phillies are willing to use the final nine games of the season for experimentation rather than contention.
They trail St. Louis by 5 1/2 games, about as close to being mathematically eliminated without official. Any combination of four Cardinals wins and Phillies losses will do it.
Ruf has batted three times in 16 games since his recall from double-A Reading. His 38 homers made him the home-run king of the minors.
The question is whether Ruf, 26, has enough talent to play left field. He is predominantly a first baseman. He has played only 39 career games in left, with 29 of them coming in 2012.