A Short-Term Solution to the Darin Ruf Roster Question

Earlier today, Bill Baer pointed out the hard truth that Darin Ruf doesn’t fit on the Phillies roster. It’s a particularly frustrating roster crunch given that the Phillies will begin the season with three games in Texas using the designated hitter rule and, therefore, have extra incentive to find a way to squeeze Ruf, arguably their best offensive bench piece, onto the roster. As Baer noted, the players Ruf’s skill set could most naturally replace, Kevin Frandsen and John Mayberry, Jr., are presently immovable due to guaranteed contracts, lack of minor league options, and defensive considerations. Fortunately, the Phillies have a temporary scheduling quirk they could exploit.

Due to scheduled off days in the first two weeks of the season, the Phillies don’t need a fifth starter until their 13th game. The open roster spot that would normally go to the fifth starter gives the Phillies the freedom to employ either an eight-man bullpen or a six-man bench on their opening day roster. With a rested bullpen to begin the season and the immediate need for a designated hitter, giving the extra spot to Darin Ruf instead of an extra relief pitcher is a viable option.

When April 14th rolls around and another starting pitcher needs to be added to the roster, Ruf still might be the odd man out, but sometimes overcrowded rosters have a way of working themselves out and the Phillies’ schedule can buy them an extra two weeks to see if another solution presents itself.

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11 comments

  1. Tony

    March 12, 2014 03:47 PM

    Simple fix. Trade Maryberry for future picks and eat some of his salary, keep Ruf. He is younger and has more power potential. I see Ruf getting as many as 300 ABs this year easy.

      • Nehemiah

        March 18, 2014 06:35 PM

        I thought they started allowing draft picks to be traded 2 years ago?

    • Nehemiah

      March 18, 2014 06:36 PM

      ignoring the fact that trading picks isn’t allowed (although I thought it was from 2 years ago), the only team willing to trade picks (or anything for that matter) for a player like Mayberry is the Phillies, and even Amaro can’t pull that one off.

  2. RAJ-Aholic

    March 12, 2014 05:47 PM

    The John Mayberry Jr re-up already coming back to bite and it’s not even the Ides of March. It’s like a game of limbo “how low can you go”?

  3. Beez Nutz

    March 13, 2014 07:55 AM

    Why is cutting Mayberry and his guaranteed contract so difficult? Its 1.6 million dollars, thats nothing to them.

    I’ll take Ruf and his RH power any single day over Mayberry… Amaro never liked Ruf, it was obvious from his many quotes on him.

    • Mike Lacy

      March 13, 2014 08:30 AM

      Because they still need depth, and Mayberry is a better outfielder than Ruf. Despite what you might think, Mayberry has some use as a bench bat/backup outfielder.

      • Beez Nutz

        March 13, 2014 09:04 AM

        Im fairly certain it wont be that hard to cut Abreu and / or Mayberry and find a lefty bat that can be an adequate fielder at any of the 3 spots…

    • Bob

      March 13, 2014 10:03 AM

      Whom do you suggest?

      • Beez Nutz

        March 13, 2014 10:53 AM

        Well see who becomes available soon.

        How about Juan Pierre or Derrick Robinson?

  4. DavidE

    March 16, 2014 10:22 AM

    I can’t see the Phillies cutting Ruf who was one of their best hitters during the second half of the season. I really can’t see keeping Frandsen any more with the emergence of Asche at 3rd base.

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