ANAHEIM, Calif. — The best game of Darin Ruf's abbreviated major-league season ended Monday with Grady Sizemore’s pinch-hitting for the 28-year-old Ruf in the ninth inning. That raised questions about Ryne Sandberg’s faith in Ruf, until the Phillies manager reinserted Ruf into Tuesday’s lineup against the Los Angeles Angels.
Ruf played first and batted eighth in a 7-2 defeat. The use of a designated hitter benefited Sandberg, who could slide Ryan Howard into that role. All Ruf did was reach base three more times. He has a .722 OPS in 46 plate appearances in spite of a .194 batting average. That details how Ruf's on-base and slugging skills can be valuable.
He could appear in Sandberg's lineup again Wednesday for a third straight start.
"We'll see," Sandberg said. "He swung the bat well. That was good to see."