MIAMI — The Phillies do not need a replacement for Cliff Lee until Saturday. In the interim, they have recalled Darin Ruf from triple-A to fill Lee's spot on the roster.
Ruf played in 12 minor-league games as he recovered from a rib cage muscle strain suffered late in spring training. He homered Sunday and crushed two doubles Monday. The Phillies decided he was ready. Ruf, 27, has 17 homers in 284 career at bats.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said he envisioned using Ruf as a spot starter at first base and left field before the injury occurred.
"With two lefthanded bats in those positions, he's a guy that would have had an opportunity for some playing time there," Sandberg said Tuesday. "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."
The Phillies must clear space for Lee's rotation replacement before Saturday. They could demote either Cesar Hernandez or Reid Brignac.
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