What will the final decision be on Darin Ruf of the Philadelphia Phillies? Who will keep Delmon Young’s spot on the roster warm?
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UPDATE: The options below were before Friday’s cuts.
Two Weeks Notice:
The new right-fielder will miss 11 to 25 games, which–baring injury–will be the length of time allocated for 1 temporary reserve.
There are 3 determinations ahead and they are short term for the most part. Humberto Quintero or Steven Lerud will fill in behind Erik Kratz until Carlos Ruiz returns after 25 battles. Quintero is a veteran but Lerud balances the lineup as a left-side stick. The difference is experience versus a day off for Kratz against difficult right-handers.
There is a role for a second utility infielder; the other is Kevin Frandsen. Freddy Galvis provides defensive wizardry to rest an aging threesome, can also add some offense, but he does have options. Pete Orr is Triple-A inventory, and Yuniesky Betancourt, who was injury insurance, will probably be with another team next week. If he is not guaranteed a slot on the 25-man roster, he can opt out of his contract March 24.
The 5th outfielder will be either Ruf, Ender Inciarte or Jermaine Mitchell. Inciarte is a Rule 5 pick from Arizona who has to be offered back unless he remains with the parent-club Phils for the entire year. If he is management’s choice, he could be returned when Young is reactivated unless another need arises. Mitchell has reached the Triple-A level, and is basically a replacement part for a disabled player.
Ruf would benefit by developing his fielding at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which is his destination for a while unless Young struggles. However, Ruf’s improvement could come into play in 2-3 months. His hitting has suffered due to the learning process in left field. His average as a DH is .286 (14 at-bats) and .189 otherwise with the rest of his production split evenly except for the homerun while a left-fielder. That stated, he could give Ryan Howard a day off against a difficult southpaw, but that is more of a mid-season requirement.
A case can be made for the speed and glove of Inciarte or Mitchell, but Ruf could pick up the right-side power that is missing until the 2 regulars are back.
from Heart or Mind:
The low poll response demonstrates the difficulty of this decision.
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Tal Venada (Author Archives)