Writer’s Roundtable: What Should Phils Do With Ruf? – Phillies Nation

Writer’s Roundtable: What Should Phils Do With Ruf?

PHOTO: PhoulBallz.com

Darin Ruf is having one heckuva season down in Reading. He’s been named the Eastern League MVP, he’s broken Ryan Howard‘s home run record, and was named the Paul Owens award winner for being the best position player in the Phillies’ minor league system. But does he have a future here in Philadelphia? What should the Phillies do with him at this point? Our writers take a look:

Eric Seidman: Bring him up, play him in left field, see if he can potentially fill that hole for next season. He’s not playing first base here, but if there is any shot he could stick in LF, get him September experience now. Otherwise, move him while his value is high.

Jay Floyd: At the risk of duplicating my sentiments from this week’s edition of Phillies Nation TV, it would be a complete disservice to Darin Ruf if the Phillies don’t promote him to the big league roster once Reading’s season is done. Ruf’s August is legendary. It’s as simple as that. The man has more than earned the right to, at the very least, fill a Mike Cervenak or an Andy Tracy role, as a guy that can pinch hit or give a teammate a day off in the field.

Giving Ruf six to ten games in the field and another six to ten pinch hit at bats would be the right sampling to allow the 26-year-old slugger to show what he can do in the big leagues for a team that should have some roster openings next spring.

Ryan Dinger: Now that the Phillies have given Hector Luna his outright release, it seems apparent that they’re making room to add Darin Ruf to the 40-man roster. This is absolutely the right thing to do at the right moment.

If you’re going to see what Ruf can be for you, you bring him up right now and play him at a position where he could possibly contribute next season (most likely one of the corner outfield spots). You do it now because the team is playing meaningless baseball, and there isn’t a desperate need to have players produce at the plate.

The 2012 season has become all about seeing what things look like for the future, and Darin Ruf may play a part in that equation. So you see what he can give you. If he impresses, you may have one less hole to fill in the offseason. If he hits well, but is a disaster in the field, you at least know that he won’t work as an outfielder and can explore potential trades for him. If he flops entirely, then you know he’s still got more work to do before being a viable big league option. None of those results can hurt the team in any fashion.

Ian Riccaboni: The Phillies will exit 2012 with only five outfielders on their 40-man roster, with one of them being Tyson Gillies. Outstanding 2012 campaign aside, Gillies has more room to grow, and the Phillies should see what Ruf is able to do in left at the Major League level.

One thing is for sure: Ruf can hit, hit, and hit, but plays defense somewhere at a level between Raul Ibanez and Pat Burrell. If it’s a good match, the Phillies will have to fill one less roster hole in 2013. If not, he can head to Triple-A for 2013 until they find a trade partner as Ruf has three more seasons before he can elect to be a Minor League free agent.

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  1. JMills

    September 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

    The Phillies should bring Ruf up today. I do not want to see Martinez start in the outfield again ever. They should play Ruf every day mostly in left but also a couple starts at first.

  2. Lefty

    September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I agree with all of you, not much to add. I’d like to ask some questions to Jay Floyd, or anyone else reading this that might have seen him and knows the answers.

    I see that they tried Ruf for 3 games at third base at Clearwater last year-

    Did that not go well?
    Or was he just covering for someone else who came back?
    Or did they just need him back at his position?
    Or did they just decide it wasn’t going to work?

    It looks like he made one error in 7 chances- but as we all know, numbers can’t tell us if it was a tough chance, or if he was shaky on the ones he did make. Without seeing him, we don’t know if he had the range, arm, or athleticism to play the hot corner. My guess is- it didn’t go well enough to keep playing him there, but that could have been out of need to get him back to his position.

    Just think how great it would be if he could play third.


    • Ryne Duren

      September 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

      lefty from what i understand they put him in left to see what he can do. i also read, can’t remember where that they’re gonna have him play after the season to more or less hone his skill in left. if he can just get to the burrel, ibanez level i’m in !lol some said he runs like a first basemen. well if you remember which i’m sure you do luzinski, and burrel came up as first basemen. someone said that if you can hit ML pitching you are at least a left fielder lol. wouldn’t it be nice to have him just play ave. LF and hit like the bull? wow that would help for next years decisions by the brass in the off season.

      • Lefty

        September 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

        Yes, a Luzinski type would be acceptable. The problem is that for 6 years the Bull had the best CF the Phils have ever seen (Maddox) covering a lot of ground for him, they don’t have that now.

        But to stay on track, I’m really interested if there is any chance he can play third base.

      • Rick

        September 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

        Zero chance he plays 3rd. If there was any chance at all he’d have been getting work their regularly. Sticking someone at first base is a last resort.

    • barry berkeley

      September 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      As an extension to the observation that Luzinski in LF was covered by the range and glove of Gary Maddox …

      If Ruff were to be a viable “Luzinski type” in LF, perhaps that’s where Michael Bourn enters the Philadelphia picture.

      If we pursue this wishful thought a bit further and if it worked out with those two … then imagine, for a moment, an outfield of Ruff – Bourn – Brown.

  3. TheDipsy

    September 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Downside to having Ruf play 20 September games in LF: 0%. IF he hits, and he probably will, then you have your LFer for next year. He can’t play D, which stinks. If Ruf would have played in the Arizona League or PCL he would hav been 45-125. What a mind blowing season. How great would it be to have a stud hitter, and he will be a stud hitter, filling a whole in your lineup for a the minumum major league salary. You would then need a very fast CF that can cover some of his ground. And then D Drown in right. thats still very bad defense. So you know what you do? Play them in September and find out!

    The Dipsy

    • Ryne Duren

      September 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

      well dipsy , if that does happen then you the only answer is a bonafied center fielder that can cover a lot of ground. sorta like maddox, the bull and j. johnstone in the outfield. the outside guys covered the lines and maddox covered everything else! a one man outfield.haha

  4. Jeremy

    September 1, 2012 at 10:56 am


    That’s all you need to see about Ruf


    September 1, 2012 at 11:06 am

    If the Phils do not bring Ruf up and play him in left field, then I am going to write Ruben Amaro, Jr. a very nasty letter. I will tell him off for sure. for being so stupid.

  6. Joe a

    September 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Would it have made any sense to move Ruf to LV to see how he’d do against AAA pitching?

    • Devin

      September 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      There isn’t a big gap between AA pitching and AAA pitching. Some hitters (Dom Brown for one) have even said that it’s easier to hit at AAA than AA. I read a reason why for this once, but have since forgotten.

  7. Double Trouble Del

    September 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I wonder why scouts and the organization was caught off guard by Ruf. I mean no one really saw this coming-or did they.

    • schmenkman

      September 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      He had hit a total of 29 home runs in his first three years in the minors, and although he had hit pretty well overall for a first baseman (.855 OPS), he was on the old side for the leagues he was in.

  8. Bob D

    September 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Oh he is way too old to be a prospect lets cut him. Or should we pay attention to what he is doing – 38 homers! 300+ batting average 102 RBI’s!

    • schmenkman

      September 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      I haven’t heard anyone say to get rid of him.

      • c schreiber

        September 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        But we haven’t seen the P’s bringing him up either and at the same time playing that “slugger” MiniMart in the OF?????

      • schmenkman

        September 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

        By the time Ruf was in his August tear, the Phillies were out of it, and Reading was in a pennant race. Not a good time to take away their best player.

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