September Call-Ups Have Officially Begun
What had been previously rumored is now official:
#Phillies have recalled RHP Colton Murray, 1B/OF Darin Ruf & LHP Patrick Schuster from Lehigh Valley, & activated Andres Blanco off the DL.
— Phillies (@Phillies) September 2, 2016
Earlier this week in my September call-up predictions, I noted that I expected the Phillies to call up one of Patrick Schuster or Elvis Araujo and one of Dalier Hinojosa or Colton Murray… and then I proceeded to guess the wrong member of each pairing. You win some, you lose some. Point being, the expected bullpen reinforcements has arrived and as postseason play ends for Lehigh Valley and Reading over the next two weeks, expect even more reinforcements to join the big league squad.
It’s great to see that Andres Blanco is ready to come back. He’s been an absolute gem of a utility player for the Phillies over the past two and a half seasons and he’ll be a free agent after the season, so this could very well be his last go around with the Phillies. His playing time is likely to be severely limited this month as all four of the Phillies infielders — Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, and Tommy Joseph — are all likely to be under consideration for roles with next year’s squad.
The surprise here which I alluded to yesterday is Darin Ruf. There’s no apparent role for him to fill with the Phillies this month as Mackanin has already explicitly expressed his desire to get more playing time for the other right-handed first-base only player: Tommy Joseph. Ruf could conceivably get playing time in the outfield despite his horrendous defense, but they already have three outfielders contending for jobs with the Phillies next season in Tyler Goeddel, Odubel Herrera, and Aaron Altherr. If Nick Williams gets the call later this month, that will only serve to further crowd Ruf out.
This winter Ruf will be eligible for arbitration for the first time and, at this point, it’s hard to see the Phillies extending him an offer. He is already 30 years old and they have a younger and potentially better version of him in Tommy Joseph. But, whatever the reasoning, Ruf is back and, if nothing else, he will serve to provide right-handed pop off the bench for the final weeks of the season.