The gust of wind felt across the Delaware Valley today was not brought upon by any Labor Day storm or cold front. The wind instead was the collective sighs and exhales from Phillies’ fans who wanted to see the man they called #BabeRuf on Twitter in red and white pin stripes before the end of the year.
“Ruf Riders” were disappointed today as the Phillies added infielder Pete Orr to the 40-man roster and announced that he, along with IronPigs’ manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Rod Nichols, will join the Phillies tomorrow. Hector Luna‘s release was seen by many, including most of our staff, as foreshadowing for slugging Reading first baseman/left fielder Darin Ruf to be added to the 40-man roster and to join the Phillies after the R-Phils’ complete their season. Ruf’s road to the Majors in 2012 seems to have now become improbable, if not impossible, with Orr filling up the 40th roster spot. Ruf finished the year leading the Eastern League with 104 RBIs and a Reading Phillies’-record 38 HRs, while narrowly missing the Eastern League triple-crown by .005.
The R-Phils defeated the Portland Sea Dogs 7-3 behind a strong performance by Adam Morgan, who is now 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA with 29 Ks for Reading , and clinched the final Eastern League Wild Card spot. The R-Phils start the postseason on Wednesday against the division-winning Trenton Thunder at home on Wednesday.
Analysis: While it admittedly was a long-shot, Ruf’s great season does not look like it will continue past the Eastern League playoffs and into the MLB regular season. The Phillies roster now stands at 40 exactly and its most expendable part, Orr, was the one just added. The other player that they could likely sneak through wavers, Steven Lerud, has now become a necessity with injuries to Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider. With the call-ups through the weekend and today, it is unlikely any further players will join the Phillies in 2012 provided the team remains in good health. Should there be an injury to a catcher, it is likely Sebastian Valle would join the team to close the season, and an injury to an outfielder may prompt a surprise Tyson Gillies call-up, who has hit .304/.369/.453 with 4 HRs in 68 games with Reading this year.