Will 2015 be the year the Phillies finally allow Ruf to start, or at the very least, platoon at first? It may happen, but I can’t say for sure. It looked like he was going to play more at first until Sandberg appeared to be told to put Howard back into the lineup. A lot will depend, obviously, if Howard is still on the team next year and there really is no indication they he won’t. I did want to point out the following that was written a few days ago in the Daily News:
In 20 starts, Ruf is hitting an impressive .300/.371/.517 with three home runs, 20 strikeouts and six walks in 71 plate appearances. His overall numbers are dragged down by his 2-for-18 performance as a pinch-hitter. Whatever happens with Howard, Ruf should be a fixture in the 2015 lineup until he proves otherwise.
This, of course, is what I’ve been saying on this blog for well over a year. Detractors will point out that Ruf has strugged with runners in scoring position, but I think may improve with more starts.