Darin Ruf’s first big-league spring training camp has not gone well so far, but the Phillies remain patient with him. “Right now things are not going good for him, but he’ll be all right,” manager Charlie Manuel said after Tuesday’s 15-2 loss to the Dominican Republic at Bright House Field. Ruf went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. The game was not an official Grapefruit League contest, so statistics did not count. In eight official games, Ruf is hitting .130 (3 for 23) with a .286 on-base percentage and a .174 slugging percentage. Ruf is clearly pressing at the plate. “It looks like he’s trying too hard,” Manuel said. Phillies officials aren’t about to panic about Ruf’s struggles at the plate or read too much into them. He proved he could swing the bat last season when he hit .317 with 38 homers and 104 RBIs at Double A Reading. Good hitters can go through tough times and that appears to be what’s happening here. What Phillies officials cannot ignore is Ruf’s defensive shortcomings in leftfield. He misplayed a catchable ball that went for a double in Tuesday’s game. He has had several misplays in leftfield this spring. Ruf, 26, is a lifelong first baseman trying to make the conversion to leftfield. If Ruf were hitting, his defensive struggles might blend into the scenery a little. But that’s not happening right now. There are still 20 more games to play in Florida, plenty of time for Ruf to win a spot on the club. But he needs to start producing just the same. Ruf does have minor-league options so he can be sent to Triple A.
Dominican Republic 15, Phillies 2: Ruf's struggles continue
CSN Philly | Mar 6