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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Phillies' Darin Ruf out with strained left oblique

By on 3/20/2014 05:00:00 PM

The Philadelphia Phillies struggled to a 73 win season last year, their worst season in more than a decade. There have been plenty of battles this spring for roster spots. One of the most intriguing battles is in the outfield where Tony Gwynn Jr, Bobby Abreu, Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr are competing for two spots. Ruf, who is batting .217 this spring with two home runs and seven RBI, was unable to improve his chances today to make the opening day roster. He was a late scratch against the Houston Astros.

Dealphungo via Wikimedia Commons

Todd Zolecki, who covers the Phillies for tweeted the following on Ruf's status.
The Phillies will most likely keep veteran Abreu as the left handed bat off the bench. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Abreu would have to see most action in right field to prove he can still play outfield in the major leagues. But Abreu is batting .281 with a .450 on-base percentage this spring.  Mayberry Jr. appears to have a leg up on the others as the second backup outfield position.

Although Ruf has displayed power, he hasn't shown to the Phillies' brass that he can be a solid major league outfielder.  It's possible the Phillies could carry three spare outfielders come opening day, but it seems likely that Ruf would head back to the minor leagues.

There is no word as to how long Ruf will be sidelined. But for a player who needs every at bat and play in the field in order to make the team, expect Ruf to attempt to come back as soon as possible.

Ruf batted .247 with 14 home runs and 30 RBI in 73 games last season. He is a career .257 hitter with 17 home runs and 40 RBI in 85 games.


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