Morning Phil Up – 3/13/2014 – Darin Ruf, Bobby Abreu, Former Rangers, and A.J. Burnett
By Mike Lacy
Darin Ruf. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
A bi-weekly collection of Phillies related links from around the web. Topics include Darin Ruf’s chances of making the team, Bobby Abreu’s struggles, former members of the Texas Rangers, and what A.J. Burnett learned with the Yankees.
The Good Phight – Phillies Outfield Battle and the Quest to Keep Darin Ruf
The Phillies’ offense is struggling, and one of the few players who has been hitting well is unlikely to make the team. Darin Ruf has looked good at the plate, and has even drawn praise from manager Ryne Sandberg. Unfortunately, Ruf’s lack of defensive ability makes it difficult to find a spot for him on the roster. He’s a liability in the outfield, and besides, the Phillies already seemingly have a right-handed backup outfielder in John Mayberry. So is there any way that the Phillies can keep Ruf?
Rant Sports – Bobby Abreu Having Difficult Comeback
Despite being out of baseball in 2013, a strong showing in the Venezuelan winter league gave Bobby Abreu hope that he could revive his career. The Phillies apparently shared that hope as they signed him to a minor league, thinking that he could serve as the team’s primary left-handed bench bat. However, Abreu is off to a slow start this Spring. While he has still shown a good eye at the plate, when the pitch is a strike, he hasn’t done a good job of getting hits. Abreu must pick it up over the next couple of weeks if he wants to make the team.
Philliedelphia – Phillies Five: Thinking Ahead to Opening Day
The Phillies first opponent of the 2014 season will be the Texas Rangers. Surprisingly, the Phillies currently have five former Rangers in their camp right now. The players range from those unlikely to make the Phillies’ major league roster (Andres Blanco) to the probable Opening Day starter (Cliff Lee).
Philly.com – Burnett Learned From New York Struggles
A.J. Burnett’s tenure with the Yankees did not go smoothly. Despite winning a championship in 2009, Burnett had become such a disappointment by 2011 that they practically gave him away to the Pirates. Burnett says that a large part of the problem was that he tried to do too much, mostly due to stubbornness. He says that experience taught him not to overdo things, and that has been a large reason why he has been so successful over the past two seasons.