"It all depends on him," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Ruf, who has played parts of the last three seasons with the Phillies. "He's going to get opportunities to play. Sizemore looks very good. The decisions that we make will be based on performance here in spring, whether we think they can help us on a regular basis during the season. And once we break with the team, it's going to be about [manager Ryne Sandberg] trying to put the best team out there to win baseball games."
Ruf is a natural first baseman, but he has been learning to play in left field since 2012. Still, the Phillies have to see if they can trust him on a regular basis playing the position.
"I don't know," Amaro said. "He could. He could. We'll find out. We'll find out a little more about him. He's not an outfielder per se, but he seems to move fine out there and he doesn't seem to make mistakes. It's still a learning process for him . . . You can't lose sight of the defense. And we have to be aware of that. We have to win games playing all phases of the games. Defense and pitching are important. Guys have to be good enough defensively not to be liabilities out there, so they can help us win games."
"I feel healthy," Ruf said Friday. "I did some things this offseason to increase mobility and take some of the muscular injuries out of the game."
Ruf checked in early for spring camp, citing his continued transition to the outfield as the main reason for his early arrival.
"Having two to three years experience out there, it's nothing new to me," Ruf said. "I know the drills, I know what to do. I know what to expect out there. I know what balls I can and can't get to. It makes me a lot more comfortable."
Ruf hit .235/.310/.402 with three home runs in 102 at-bats over 52 games in 2014.
The Mets took a lead in the top of the fourth inning, but Ruf was able to put his team in front with his shot in the bottom half of the inning, though the Phillies would go on to lose. Ruf has hit ..152/.293/.364 with two home runs and four RBI in 33 at-bats.
"The way I see things," Sandberg said. "I basically wanted to give Ruf two days in a row, just to get his feet wet, see him against a right-handed pitcher, then go from there. But in all likelihood, at least after today it will be a scenario of ... I'd be considering a platoon system at first base."
Howard was actually out of the lineup against a right-handed pitcher Thursday, but Sandberg said he wanted to give Darin Ruf two consecutive starts after his callup. The Phillies face two left-handed pitchers during a three-game series against the Diamondbacks beginning Friday, so Sandberg may also get him some time off then.
Howard is struggling against both right and left-handed pitchers this season, but has 10 of his 15 home runs against righties. He is hitting .229/.314/.368 against righties, compared to .209/.275/.407 vs. the opposite hand.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Atlanta|
|vs Russell (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
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| 9 |
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2013||AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPi||83||305||44||81||22||0||7||46||36||88||1||2||.343||.407||.266|
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