Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Darin Ruf takes on right field

Former first baseman Darin Ruf is moving from left field to right, a position he's played just once in his life.

Darin Ruf takes on right field

The Phillies´ Darin Ruf. (Matt Slocum/AP)
The Phillies' Darin Ruf. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Domonic Brown was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, nearly two weeks since suffering from concussion symptoms after diving for a ball in St. Louis.

With Darin Ruf and Cody Asche on the roster, which shifted Michael Young from third to first, and Ruf from first to left, Brown moved to his old position in right field, right? Wrong. 

Ruf found out he was the one switching positions yet again while in the lunch room at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday afternoon.

“I was in the cafeteria area and he (Sammy) told me I was playing right field tonight and I thought he was joking," Ruf said. "But then he quickly changed the tone and said, 'No, I am really serious here. I was looking for you. You need to go take fly balls right now.' So I said, 'All right, let's get out there and work.'”

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And so the 27-year-old Ruf will play right, a position he's played once in his life (in a Winter Ball game). It was only began playing the outfield a year ago since the Phils saw a near-major league ready bat but his first base position blocked in the big leagues by Ryan Howard.

Ruf continued to play the outfield in Winter Ball, but toward the end of spring training, he hadn't shown enough to prove that he was ready to be a major league outfield. Four months later, the Phils must feel differently in having the confidence to not only start him in the outfield, but shift him to a spot he's pretty much never played.

According to Charlie Manuel, however, the move had more to do with Brown than with Ruf.

"Dom Brown’s improved a lot in the outfield," Manuel said of Brown, who struggled to look comfortable in the outfield in his first few seasons with the Phillies. "And he’s been playing left field and his improvement has actually come in left field. I think that his season speaks for itself. Right now, we want to definitely find out what our options are for right. That’s where he’s been improving (in left) and that’s where he’s played. I like keeping him there, basically when you get down to it."

“Hopefully I will be able to learn on the fly and pick it up pretty quickly," Ruf said.

Ruf said he'll talk with both Brown and Delmon Young, who have played both corner spots. But he also realizes that when he gets in between the lines, he'll be all by himself in a new spot. 

 “I guess I'll find out (what it's like)," Ruf said. "I think when you are playing left field, lefties' balls tend to slice to the line, in right field, righties' balls … so it is kind of reversed a little bit. But hopefully I will pick it up quickly and the reads and routes will just kind of, once I am out there, be similar to left, I guess.”



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