The Philadelphia Phillies finally promoted minor league home champion Darin Ruf to the major leagues, although Ruf may not get much of an opportunity to prove himself down the stretch. The Phillies weren’t expected to be in the position they’re currently in (just three games out of the wild card race), and they’re going to want to go with experience down the stretch.
John Mayberry, Jr. and Domonic Brown have been playing center and right field for the most part with the Phillies going with the veteran Juan Pierre, a speedy threat on the basepaths, in left field. But Ruf instantly becomes the top right-handed power bat not named Erik Kratz on the team, and he should see his share of pinch-hitting opportunities.
Ruf broke Ryan Howard’s single-season Reading Phillies record with 38 home runs in the minor leagues this season, but he’s 26 years old already and it’s worth seeing what he can do at the top level. Sending Ruf to Triple-A without any opportunity to play in the major leagues this season would have been a waste.
But now that the Phillies have called Ruf up, they also need to give him some chances to show what he can do. Ruf will probably get invited to spring training anyway next season, so it’s not as if this is it for Ruf to show that he can hit big league pitching. But what a little success from Ruf would do is show the Phillies he can at least be a major league backup at the corner outfield positions in 2013.