The Philadelphia Phillies have had a competitionin the outfield all season that has been changed often. The last few months of the season it seemed that Darin Ruf had been making an impression. Some thought he would get a shot at playing right field everyday next season, but it seems that General Manger Ruben Amaro Jr. has other plans.
He thinks Ruf can fill in throughout the outfield and at first base when Ryan Howard needs a break. Amaro believes that the Phillies need someone more defensive in the right field. Is he right? In my opinion Ruf is only going to get better by playing and getting the experience, not by siting on the bench. He also is a great offensive addition.
Ruf had an average of .247 this season in 73 games with 62 hits. He hit an impressive 14 home runs which was third most on the team and also managed 30 RBI. Sure he can come in next season and be a pinch hitter, but will he be able to be this clutch when he is not seeing the ball every day? I would say probably not.
Amaro wants someone with more experience, and his idea of getting someone with experience is getting someone older. The Phillies should be focusing on becoming a younger team, and they may not have money to spend. They are talking about bringing catcher Carlos Ruiz back and also Roy Halladay. The right fielders that are available may be expensive, and they are already on a tight budget.
I believe Ruf has earned his spot to play every day. He has worked hard and seems that he is willing to continue to learn. He has been there for the Phillies when they needed him this season, and hopefully they can see what he is worth during the offseason.