Darin Ruf is ready to be awesome again.
It’s been a rough spring training for the young slugger. Struggling to learn a new defensive position has taken its toll on Ruf’s offensive game, coming into last night’s 6-2 loss to the Yankees sporting a .188/.316/.281 slash line with no home runs, three doubles, and just six hits in 38 plate appearances so far this spring.
Oh, and his defense has been kinda crappy too.
Then, last night, as if letting out an exhale the entire world could hear, Darin Ruf decided that it was time to start being awesome again.
Whew! That feels better.
His home run to left, on an 0-2 pitch against a right-hander, proved to everyone that Ruf hasn’t totally forgotten how to hit a pitched baseball.
And that’s good. Because he’s not making any Major League roster with his defense or speed.
At this point, unless Ruf hits about another five or six of those things and starts piling up the extra-base hits over the next few weeks, it’s more likely he will start the season at AAA Lehigh Valley. However, another five or six home runs could change things considerably.
Listen, we’re all desperately hoping we don’t have to see much of Delmon Young this year, and that’s what the intense Darin Ruf watch is all about. Every base hit, every home run, every ground ball fielded cleanly, every fly ball caught by Ruf, means a greater chance that Young will not be an every day starter for the Phillies this year.
Hopefully, last night’s dinger by Ruf will help him relax a bit and enable him to go on another Ruf-ian homer binge that will convince everyone that he can be the Phils’ left fielder once the team opens in Atlanta on April 1.
We all just want Darin Ruf to be totally and completely awesome. Last night, he showed a glimpse of that awesomeness once again.
A Ruf homer a day keeps Delmon Young away.
At least, we hope.