A fan favorite is in the making for the Philadelphia Phillies with Darin Ruf. Can he force the brain trust to take him north next April?
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
(Fielding A Free Agent Bat: A related article)
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 2-0 Triumph
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Out Of Leftfield:
Coming down the line from Reading, we heard him or maybe that was one of his record-setting homeruns. However, he was quick to point out that Ryan Howard did it in less games–many. Last night, in a playoff atmosphere against the Nats, he crushed a 2-RBI triple to back a stellar performance from Kyle Kendrick. The fan in me dares to dream about a middle of the order for 2013: Chase “The Man” Utley, the Rynosaur, Chooch Ruiz and “Babe” Ruf. That stated, the main objective in my articles is a baseball man’s view of the action and roster decisions.
I like Ruf but he has a huge mountain to climb in Clearwater. Ergo, he will earn it, if he is part of the opening-day 25. But even before January, Rube Amaro will move methodically for a veteran set-up hurler, and a right-handed power bat in that exact order. When you consider his trading options, he has minor leaguers but his only surplus is young relievers. However, he will monitor Darin’s numbers in winter ball closely and have to be wowed during March.
The kid at first base? Firstly, the biggest reason to become a Phillie is their championship core 4: Jimmy Rollins, Utley, Howard and Cole Hamels. That’s the biggest attraction to draw experienced talent for any franchise, like the Yankees of: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. They are the face, heart and soul of their organization, which also means that Utley’s time here may not be over so quickly. In other words, Ruf could give Howard an occasional rest at first, but there is no way a major move will be made.
Amaro will do everything he can to locate right-handed lumber–maybe centerfield?–because he must plug in someone he can definitely count on. Along the warning-track corners, LF Juan Pierre and RF Dom Brown have the best shot to open the season with the team. John Mayberry Jr. is a good platoon option with Magic Juan, and Big John is a solid defensive replacement. And remember, the league catches up with these new heroes when they find their holes–like Mayberry, Antonio Bastardo, Vance Worley and Mike Stutes.
Rube needs a right-side stick and all factors will be considered. Regardless, he will enter camp with “Babe” in left for Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get experience there. There will be no rush and they will want Ruf to be in the lineup every day. The young upstart will have an ample opportunity to impress the GM before that, but chances are he’ll a need minimum of 2 months at Lehigh Valley. He certainly has given the faithful a large dose of hope and anticipation for 2013.
This is his first MLB start because Tyler Cloyd was shut down with arm fatigue. He allowed only 1 free pass to Washington over 3 innings on 42 bullets Wednesday night at the Bank. Against the Nats in Philly for 2 relief stints, his line is: 3.1 frames, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk and 4 K’s.
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This will probably be a tune-up appearance, which means 5 innings or less. He is 9-4 with a 2.38 home ERA, which is 0.93 lower in Washington. He has worked 6.1 frames plus in 13 of 32 efforts with 4 debacles. Against the Phils for 4 outings at both parks (3 away), his ledger reads: 3-1, a 2.52 ERA, 25 complete, 18 hits, 7 all-earned runs, 9 BB and 29 whiffs.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
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Baseball-Fix Monday Schedule:
Events will dictate the number from 1 to 4 each for November and December. January to mid-February will be every other week, and it will be weekly after that until the season begins.
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Check out my previous publications (Fielding A Free Agent Bat) and the 120 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
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