Ruf and Mitchell to Minor Leauge Camp, Lopez Released – Phillies Nation
2013 Spring Training

Ruf and Mitchell to Minor Leauge Camp, Lopez Released

According to the Delaware News Journal’s Chris Branch, outfielders Darin Ruf and Jermaine Mitchell have been reassigned to minor league camp while pitcher Rodrigo Lopez has been released.

Ruf was hitting .246 after today’s game but the main concern according to team officials was defense. Branch says team officials say Ruf needs more seasoning in the outfield while staying sharp at first base. Jim Salisbury quotes General Manager Ruben Amaro as stating Ruf will play left field for the IronPigs five times a week while playing first once a week.

Mitchell, hitting .269/.321/.577 in Spring action, was not believed to have much of a chance to make the team out of camp despite his strong play while it was believed Lopez would be kept around as pitching depth. With two less outfielders, one has to believe Ender Inciarte’s chances of making the Phillies out of Spring Training have greatly increased.



  1. Dr. Dave

    March 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Pete Orr – anyone notice he started in RF. He may make the club due to his versatility, his bat, and speed.

  2. Andrew from Waldorf

    March 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Just because so many of you care.

    I have Ryan Howard and Michael Young in fantasy this year.

    I havent had a phillie since like 07 when I took Utley round 1.

    Halladay lingered a very long time. Not as bad as Texiera and Ortiz but a long time.

    • Ken Bland

      March 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I care, Andrew, and I am not alone.

      Check this out.

      I really found this assessment of the field by the oddsmaker at Bovada weird.

      He has 2 Phils listed on the board as NL MVP possibilities. Young Mike is 50/1. No Utley, no Rollins.

      Howard is 33/1 which jumps out from 2 angles. One, that’s the same line as Rickie Weeks, Hunter Pence, and the infielder formerly known as Healthy Han Ram.

      The second thing is what it comes down to is it comes down to is as the MVP usually comes from a winning team, the chances of the Phils winning, and an everday player outperforning Howard in value perception is fairly slim. But for any of the other 3 to win, Hanley would have to be pervceived as more valuble than either Kemp, or AGon, Weeks would have to be perceived as more valuble than Braun, and maybe the wildest baseball possibility ever is that Pence would have to be perceived as more valuble than Posey. Of course either Kevin Millar or Harold Reynolds, swept up in mid interview euphoria a few monthss back said Pence could win a battuing title someday, so what do I know..Good luck Hunter.

      And none of that even covers that Ryan Zimmerman is an even higher favorite than Howard,(25/1) and he’d have to be perceived as more valuble than Harper, who’s like the 3rd most likely at 10-1. Onliesdt thimg Ryan Z is a favorite for is most likely to have health insurance paid if he’s smart.Real good player, but puhleeze.

      I’m often impressed with how results come close to Vegas lines. Me thinks not this time. But at least they listed every Phil you drafted as an MVP contender. I hope that makes you feel good.

  3. Bart Shart

    March 23, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Solid decision by Amaro on Ruf and Mitchell. I believe we will see Ruf this year and that he will tear up AAA.

    • Lefty

      March 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

      and hopefully, like Brown, he will get good defensive training for the OF position.

    • wbramh

      March 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Maybe Darin just needs to use a first baseman’s glove when playing left field.
      Which begsa few innocent questions so please, nobody jump on me.

      1. If Darin Ruf is an acceptable-fielding first baseman why not have him rotate with Howard when they face lefties and use him as a pinch hitter and occasional DH when playing in AL cities? He could still take some practice and coaching in the outfield while contributing elsewhere during games (I assume Joyner and others will still be working with Dom Brown between games to further hone his skills). At least BA wise as a PH he’s not too far from Gross and Unser in 1980 and Unser played in just 96 games as a utility guy that year..

      2. On the subject of sending him down for coaching in the field, Is he really going to learn more about playing left by fielding(maybe) 10 balls per minor league game than he would chasing 25 fungo shots a day or fielding an additional 25 pulled shots via a coached batting practice before big league games. Plus, when the team’s home he would be practicing in the particular field he needs to learn to master with it’s unique turf, lighting, angles, dimensions, etc..

      3. If Wally Joyner could turn Dom Brown into a better player at bat and in the field why can’t Joyner or some other coach on the parent club work with Darin Ruf instead of sending him down? I don’t mean to minimize the difficulty in adjustment but we’re talking fundamental requirements here (using a glove and feet) that wouldn’t take an athletic pitcher all that long to get the handle of if not master and I assume Ruf already knows what a glove is for since he came up as a first baseman. Again I’d point to 1980 and Greg Luzinski who played in 106 games, batted .228 with 19 home runs and 100 SOs that year. Ruf may be even less a fielder (at 26) but he may be the equal or better of the 29-year-old Luzinski (circa 1980) at the plate.

      I’m sure there are holes in my argument and I’d like to read them but it just seems like baseball, more than any other sport, relies on conventional wisdom that makes less sense every year – especially in an era when the majors have instantaneous and sophisticated training facilities right between the clubhouse and the dugout. On a team that has suffered for right-handed power, you’d think there would be a way these days for Darin Ruf to (safely) improve his fielding while contributing to the parent club with his bat.

      Or maybe it’s just me since Images of yesterday’s monster walk-off keep flashing in my mind.
      The 8th and 9th inning comebacks were few and far between last season.

      • George

        March 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

        I’ll only address some of your ideas because those alone are probably sufficient to negate the rest. I’ll start with your second paragraph.

        Ruf would get far more practice in AAA because not only would he be getting those “10 balls per minor league game,” but he’d also be getting all those same benefits (chasing fungos, fielding pulled shots) he’d get in the ML. Also, if the ML coaches are spending a lot of time with Dom Brown, that’d be less time they’d be spending with Ruf. As far as getting familiar with the park he’d be playing in, he really should be able to play in all parks, not just one he’s used to the most. That requires playing in all sorts of settings and conditions. And in AAA, those balls that bounce from his glove and over the fence wouldn’t be very important.

        The other point I’ll make is that the Phils currently have a fill-in 1st baseman in Mayberry, who hits lefties with reasonable authority, and who can also already play outfield and do it competently. There are only so many roster spots available, and one or the other had to be farmed out. Personally, I’d pick the guy who still needs workand still has options left: Ruf.

        While I agree that many baseball decisions seem to be based on little more than “conventional wisdom,” I think that in Ruf’s case, it really is the right move, and makes the most sense.

  4. Bruce

    March 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    It’s obviously not a surprise but personally a disappointment to see Ruf go down to the minors. I had hope that the Phillies management would view him as a work in progress in LF especially when Delmont Young still on the DL list at least till mid April. I understand Ruf’s need for more developement in LF but his power hitting could compensate in part for that weakness in fielding.

    Can you remember a heavy, stocky built player who played in LF for the Phillies and went by the nickname “Bull” because of his physique? He was very awkward and slow as a leftfielder and yet played regularly because of his power and run production. His name? Greg Luzinski who endeared himself to fans and a member of the 1980 World Series Championship club.

    I know Ruf also had some early problems offensively during ST and that may be due to his discomfort and distraction in learning a new position. However, for cynics who are critical of Ruf and probably have not followed closely the exhibition games, should take note that Ruf batted .306 (11 for 36) with 5 doubles and 2 HRs in his last 11 games. Ruf finally has his timing and stroke back.

    At least Charlie Manuel gave him a compliment as Ruf packs for a trip to Lehigh Valley; “His bat is definitely going to carry him. he has a chance to be a bigtime hitter. I think he’s going to have a bright career. I think there is a good chance we’ll see him here.” I hope so and it should be soon especially when he see heavyweight Delmont Young tripping over himself in the OF.

    • Ken Bland

      March 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      “for cynics who are critical of Ruf and probably have not followed closely the exhibition games, should take note that Ruf batted .306 (11 for 36) with 5 doubles and 2 HRs in his last 11 games. Ruf finally has his timing and stroke back.”

      Gimme a break. I love the way you note the offensive improvement, but failto mention that in thiose last 11 games, he still did not show an ability to play more than one position. And that position is quite productively occupied this spring, which may or may not last, but it is what it is.

      And although I’m not what I’d call a Ruf cynic or critic, but rather an objective observor, that is complete nonsense calling the doubters cynics and critics when if anybody should have a negative connotation applied to their thinking, it’s the delsional dreamers, as they were perceived then that tried to outbid eachother with each sequential post about how many dingers he’d hit, some of whom were chanting Rookie of the Year when if you held a Jodi Arias signed knife built to kill to theior throats, they still couldn’t name one other ROY candidate that he’d have to beat out.

      • Brooks

        March 24, 2013 at 7:31 am

        I jumped at – ‘delsional’?
        Delusional or just hoping to see the remake, The sequel to the Bull?
        From what I see of the starting OF lineup, I’d keep delsionaling that Darin might be back sooner than later to occupy LF regardless that he might waddle like the BBQ pit king or Pat the Bat in LF. The idea of having a piece of lumber that is downright scary hitting behind what appears to be a revitalized Howard – well, I’ll drink to that (and 18-25 hrs).

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