Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Ruf's Struggles Mean Mayberry to Start

By Brendan Harmening
Howard Smith – USATODAY Sports

If Darin Ruf continues to struggle in spring training, then the Philadelphia Phillies right field position is John Mayberry’s to lose. The outfielders currently on the roster are Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, Laynce Nix, John Mayberry and the injured Delmon Young.

Darin Ruf ignited last year in the Phillies Double-A club (the newly named Fightin’ Phils) when he hit 38 HR. With the Phillies outfield situation decimated and cheap to start 2013, it looked like the right field job was Ruf’s to lose, as long as he kept hitting.

But through ten spring training games (a third of the thirty scheduled) Ruf hasn’t hit. Through his eight spring games Ruf’s line is: |.130 BA | .286 OBP | 2 R | 3 Hits | 3 RBI | 6 K|

It’s not the line you want from a rookie who you’re looking to depend on in 2013.

With Ruf struggling the Phillies will turn back to their emergency lever, John Mayberry. Mayberry started the season in the outfield in 2012, but never stood out above of the rest of the platoon. If Mayberry is forced into a starting role again in 2013 I wouldn’t expect anything special from the nearly 30 year old replacement level player. Look for his usual mid .200s BA, .300 OBP 12-15 HR, 40-50 RBI. Basically, nothing great.

Don’t give up on Ruf, there are still around 20 spring training games left, which is more than half. He still has time to set himself apart from Mayberry and Nix. Even if he doesn’t begin the season starting in the outfield, the season is long, and John Mayberry is unlikely to perform well enough to be irreplaceable. If Ruf finds his swing at any point this season, the job will be his. It’s just not right now.

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