Not long before Saturday evening’s contest against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies announced that ailing first baseman Ryan Howard would be placed on the disabled list, as he has been battling left knee issues for several weeks.
The lefty hitting slugger was scratched from Saturday night’s lineup following batting practice that afternoon. In 80 games this year, Howard has a .266 batting average along with 11 home runs and 43 RBI.
To occupy the void on the roster, the Phillies announced the return of first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, who made his major league debut with the Phils last September, hitting .333 with three home runs and 10 RBI in a dozen game with the big club.
This season, the Creighton University product who turns 27-years-old later this month, has posted a .266 average with seven homers and 46 RBI in 82 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Ruf was the Phillies’ Paul Owens Award winner last year. It’s an honored bestowed upon the top offensive and pitching talents in the organization’s minor league system. With Double-A Reading last year, Ruf set a team record 38 home runs and was named the Eastern League Most Valuable Player.