Tag: Darin Ruf

Hicks Aarons it out against the Phils

Aaron Hicks homered off of three different Phillie pitchers yesterday as the Twins topped the Phils 10-6. The Phils led 6-1 after three innings but couldn’t hold on. Valdes and Minor were charged with seven runs between them in the seventh and eighth innings combined.

Ruf hit a two-run double for the Phillies in the bottom of the second. A much needed 2-for-4 on the day with three RBI ups his line to 185/313/259 with just two walks and two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 32 plate appearances.

Galvis started at short and had the only other extra-base hit for the Phils, a triple. He was 1-for-5 in the game. Slugging .519 this spring.

Young and Mayberry both 2-for-3. Mayberry also drew a walk to raise his line to 281/343/438 after a slow start. Young’s continued hot hitting has his average up to .310.

Brown and Kratz 2-for-4. Kratz is hitting .200 without a walk in 15 at-bats. Brown is at 400/514/767. Leads the team in walks and runs scored and is tied for Howard with the home run lead at three. Brown has scored 13 runs this spring while no other Phillie has scored more than seven.

This article talks about nice defensive plays made by Young, Brown and Utley in the game.

Lee started the game for the Phillies. He gave up a leadoff homer to the first batter he faced before retiring the next three to end the first. He allowed two hits and a walk in a scoreless second and threw a 1-2-3 third. He started the fourth, allowing another solo home run, this time with one out. He got the second out and was replaced by Horst.

Overall, Lee went 3 2/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Both of the runs scored on solo homers. 5.19 ERA with a 1.27 ratio over three starts. Ten strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.

Horst allowed a walk before getting the final out of the fourth. He came back to pitch the fifth and allowed a run on a solo homer.

Again Horst doesn’t pitch well. The spring started out well for him and has fallen apart a little over his last couple outings. His numbers at this point are ugly — 14.40 ERA with a 2.60 ratio. In five innings he’s allowed four home runs.

Valdes allowed a single single before striking out the side in the sixth. He returned for the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk, which was followed by yet another homer by Aaron Hicks (his third of the day — Lee, Horst and Valdes). Valdes struck the next hitter out for the first out of the frame and was replaced by Kyle Simon.

Valdes’s numbers are better than Horst, but they’re still really bad. 7.36 ERA with a 1.23 ratio. Like Horst, he’s allowed four home runs. He’s struck out a team-high 11 in 7 1/3 innings.

Simon got the last two outs in the seventh. He has now allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings over four appearances.

Miner started the eighth and faced six batters, getting one out, walking two and allowing four singles before getting pulled. He wound up charged with five runs on three hits and two walks over a third of an inning. Fields made an error at first after Miner left that meant that one of his five runs was unearned.

Miner has a 12.71 ERA for the spring and opponents have hit .370 against him.

Savery got the last two outs in the eighth, allowing one runner to reach on Fields’s error. He came back and allowed two singles in a scoreless ninth.

Savery hasn’t been charged with a run in his three appearances, allowing four hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings while striking out four (0.00 ERA and a 1.15 ratio).

Kendrick is expected to start against the Rays this afternoon. Papelbon will not pitch as scheduled and may pitch Saturday.

USA plays Mexico today in the World Baseball Classic.


¡Ay, caramba!

The Phillies allowed 15 runs on 28 hits yesterday, losing 15-2 to the Dominican Republic’s WBC team. Cole Hamels allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Laynce Nix homered in the game for the Phils. 2-for-4 in the game and 1-for-15 in official spring training games.

Kevin Frandsen continues to hit. He was 2-for-4 with a double. His line in games that don’t count that count is 364/391/727.

Cody Asche 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Galvis 1-for-4 with another extra-base hit, a double. He’s got two doubles, a homer and a .524 slugging percentage in the games that don’t count that count.

Ruf was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. He also misplayed a ball in left. This suggests he will not be in the lineup this afternoon against the Nats.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and threw a scoreless first. That was as good as it got, though. He allowed four runs on six hits in the second. In the third he faced seven batters and was charged with four more runs — he gave up two singles, two doubles and a two-run homer (to Jose Reyes) before getting pulled with one out.

Overall, Hamels went 2 2/3 innings in the game, allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits. Didn’t walk anyone.

Hamels has struck out six in five scoreless innings in official action.

Martin faced two hitters in the third, allowing a single before retiring Nelson Cruz on a ground ball to second to end the frame. He came back to toss a scoreless fourth but was hit hard in the fifth, allowing a two-run homer to Robinson Cano and an RBI-single to Miguel Tejada.

Overall he went 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs on six hits, including a triple and a home run, and a walk.

Martin has just one official appearance in spring training in which he allowed one hit over two scoreless innings.

Pettibone was next and he got hammered as well, allowing four runs on nine hits over 2 2/3. Two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez in the seventh. Three of five hitters he faced in the eighth singled and two of them came around to score.

Nine is a lot of hits to allow in 2 2/3 innings.

Pettibone was hit in his only official spring appearance, allowing four runs on three hits, including two home runs, in two innings.

Justin Friend got the last four outs of the game. He faced six batters, allowing a single and a walk, but wasn’t charged with a run.

He had allowed a run over two innings in official spring action.

Halladay is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face the Nationals.

This article suggests that Galvis, Betancourt and Frandsen could be competing for two bench spots. I’m going to be real surprised if Frandsen doesn’t start the year with the team.


It happens every spring, but I don’t remember it always looking quite this ugly

The Phillies continued what’s been a pretty ugly start to spring training yesterday, making three more errors and allowing 12 runs as the Twins beat them 12-5. Justin De Fratus and BJ Rosenberg, each hoping to start the year in the bullpen for the Phils, combined to throw two innings in which they allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks.

Ben Revere had a nice day for the Phillies, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, stealing a base and scoring two runs. Domonic Brown is now 4-for-9 on the spring with a double, two home runs and two walks after going 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and three runs scored. Ruiz went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs. Mayberry had his first spring hit, a double, as he went 1-for-3 on the day. He’s 1-for-10 so far.

Frandsen was 2-for-4. He’s 5-for-13 with a double, a home run and a 1.077 OPS in the early going. Howard 1-for-2 with a walk. He’s still looking for his first home run, but is now 6-for-12 with two doubles and two walks.

Not as good a day for Galvis, who was 0-for-5, made an error and struck out twice. He also made a misplay late that was originally called an error and then called a hit. Ruf went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting opportunity and is still looking for his first official spring hit. He’s 0-for-9.

Ruf has been dealing with a sore throwing arm that has kept him out of the lineup.

Lannan started the game for the Phils, allowing a run on four singles and a walk over two innings. Adam Morgan followed Lannan and allowed a run on three singles in the third. He came back for the fourth and faced five hitters, getting two outs and allowing a double and a single while the other reached on a Galvis error. Morgan left with two down and men on the corners. Kyle Simon came in to pitch to Ryan Doumit and Doumit hit a three-run homer to right.

Bastardo and Mauricio Robles threw scoreless innings later in the game.

The sixth and seventh didn’t go well for the Phils. De Fratus started the sixth and had his second bad outing in two tries, allowing three runs on four hits, including a double, and a walk. He’s now allowed five runs on six hits over three innings in his two appearances.

Rosenberg also got hit hard, allowing three runs in the seventh. The first four men he faced reached base on a pair of walks, a double and an infield single. He allowed a two-run single with one out before getting a double-play to end the inning.

Like De Fratus, Rosenberg has two spring outings, both of which have been bad. He’s allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks over three innings. That’s a 3.67 ratio, which is not what you’re looking for.

You also want to avoid walking two of the first four men you face if it’s at all possible. In 2012 with the Phillies, Rosenberg walked 14 men in 25 innings while pitching to a 6.12 ERA.

The Phillies face the Braves this afternoon with Cole Hamels expected to pitch. Jake Diekman is also expected to throw in relief as he makes his case for a spot in the pen. He’s made one official appearance so far and allowed a run on a hit and a walk over one inning.


Minor details

Even with Delmon Young likely to start the year on the DL, I’m still not sure we’re going to see Darin Ruf playing a whole lot of left field in 2013, unless he demonstrates real soon he can handle the position defensively. Given that Ryan Howard plays first and will for a while, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else for him to play.

Either way, Ruf got 37 plate appearances with the Phils in 2012 and walked in just two of them, a walk rate of 5.4%. So should we be worried that he’s going to continue to drag down the Phillie walk rate in left field in 2013?

I don’t think so. First, cause I’m still not sure how much we’re going to see Ruf in left field in 2013 and second because he’s likely to walk a lot more than 5.4% if he’s given enough chances to hit.

Here’s how Ruf’s walk rates at various levels compare to fellow corner outfield candidates Domonic Brown and John Mayberry:

Darin Ruf
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2009 (22) Rk/A- 201 8.5
2010 (23) A/A+ 547 8.6
2011 (24) A+ 554 10.1
2012 (25) AA 583 11.1
All minors - 1,885 9.8
@ AAA - 0 -
Majors MAJ 37 5.4
Domonic Brown
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2006 (18) Rk 131 9.2
2007 (19) A-/A+ 328 8.8
2008 (20) A 516 12.4
2009 (21) Rk/A+/AA 454 10.8
2010 (22) AA/AAA 389 9.5
2011 (23) A+/AAA 195 15.4
2012 (24) Rk/AAA 261 7.7
All minors - 2,274 10.6
@ AAA - 531 10.0
Majors MAJ 492 10.4
John Mayberry
2005 (21) A- 302 8.6
2006 (22) A 533 11.1
2007 (23) A+/AA 548 8.8
2008 (24) AA/AAA 565 6.0
2009 (25) AAA 358 9.5
2010 (26) AAA 547 7.1
2011 (27) AAA 122 4.1
All minors - 2,975 8.2
@ AAA - 1,502 7.2
Majors MAJ 848 7.4

Couple of things. First, Darin Ruf is old. He turned 26 in July. Mayberry is really old, but we’ve had time to get used to that. The Phils took Ruf out of Creighton University and he didn’t get his first minor league plate appearance until his age 22 season. In 2011, he had a very nice year at Clearwater, hitting 308/388/506, but did it during his age 24 season. Domonic Brown, on the other hand, was taken out of high school and had already been to Double-A (for 162 plate appearances) by the end of his age 21 season. Brown reached Triple-A during his age 22 season while Mayberry and Ruf were both in A-ball or lower during their age 22 year.

Mayberry played three years at Stanford before debuting in the Northwest league in his age 21 season.

Bottom line for me when you look at the walk rates for those three guys across all levels, Brown is going to walk the most of the three. I’d guess it will be close between Ruf and Mayberry, but I’d bet that when their careers are over, Ruf will have walked in a higher percentage of his plate appearances than Mayberry. Especially in the unlikely event that he keeps hitting 50 or so home runs a year.

Mike Schmidt seems more optimistic about Michael Young’s chances of being a first ballot Hall of Famer than I am.

Laynce Nix has a bone spur in his right foot. The linked article suggests he’s not expected to miss time as a result of the bone spur.

The Phillies play an intrasquad game today. They play the Astros on Saturday and the Tigers on Sunday.


Juan of the problems

In 2012, Phillie left fielders walked in about 6.3% of their plate appearances, which was the 15th-best walk rate in the 16 team NL. So what went wrong? Well, the Phillies gave about 80% of their plate appearances at the position to Juan Pierre and John Mayberry and those guys didn’t walk.

Here’s how the percentages of plate appearances and walks for the Phillie left fielders break down for 2012:

Player % of PA BB% as LF
Pierre 60.2 5.0
Mayberry 19.8 5.8
Brown 8.3 6.9
Nix 3.7 15.4
Wigginton 3.6 24.0
Ruf 3.0 4.8
Others (2) 1.3 0.0
All PHI LF 100 6.3
NL avg LF - 8.0

Juan Pierre just doesn’t walk and you shouldn’t expect him to. His career walk rate is 5.7% and he was around that mark while playing left field at the position last year.

Mayberry has been better at drawing walks than Pierre for his career, walking in about 7.4% of his chances, but walked in just 5.8% of his plate appearances while playing left field for the Phils in 2012.

Below them there’s some weird stuff with the guys who got a smaller number of plate appearances. The walk rate for the team would have been even worse had Wigginton and Nix not combined to bizarrely walk 10 times in their 51 plate appearances (about 19.6%). The left fielders other than Wigginton and Nix combined to walk in about 5.3% of their plate appearances for the Phils.

To the degree there’s good news on this front, it’s that Brown, and hopefully Ruf, are both likely to walk at much higher rates going forward than they did in their time playing left field for the Phillies in 2012.


Young at hurt

Multiple articles at the end of last week raised doubts that Delmon Young would be able to start the year on the active roster for the Phillies.

This suggests he could miss much or all of April.

That puts a dent in my efforts to guess who the hitters are who will start the year with the Phillies. You can see the post about my most recent guess, from the end of January, here.

Here’s how I thought the guys on the team and other candidates looked at that point:

Other candidates
1 Kratz D Ruf
2 Howard H Quintero
3 Utley S Lerud
4 Rollins K Frandsen
5 M Young E Inciarte
6 Nix T Gillies
7 Revere L Collier
8 Brown J Mitchell
9 Mayberry C Hernandez
10 Galvis M Martinez
11 D Young P Orr
12 A Blanco
13 J Fields
J Mather
T Joseph
C Asche

I had guessed that Quintero and Frandsen would fill out the two remaining spots, assuming the Phils go into the year with 13 hitters.

Since then, in addition to the news that there’s a good chance Delmon Young will start the season on the DL, the Phillies have added Yuniesky Betancourt, who will be in camp as a non-roster invitee, and signed second baseman Matt Tolbert to a minor league deal.

Here’s how I think the locked up slots look now on the hitter side:

Other candidates
1 Kratz D Ruf
2 Howard F Galvis
3 Utley D Young
4 Rollins Y Betancourt
5 M Young H Quintero
6 Nix S Lerud
7 Revere K Frandsen
8 Brown E Inciarte
9 Mayberry T Gillies
10 L Collier
11 J Mitchell
12 C Hernandez
13 M Martinez
P Orr
A Blanco
J Fields
J Mather
T Joseph
C Asche

I moved Galvis and Delmon Young from the column on the left to the column on the right and added Betancourt to the list of candidates.

If those nine players are truly on the team and the Phils start the year with 13 hitters, that leaves them four open spots.

Of those four, one would have to be filled by a backup catcher and the other by someone who can backup short.

I still think Quintero beats out Lerud to be the backup catcher.

I’d also guess Galvis gets a roster spot to backup short, beating out competition for the job that would presumably include Betancourt, Blanco and Martinez.

I would still guess that one slot goes to Frandsen. Not sure the Phillies need him, but I’m guessing they were impressed with his .338 batting average from last year.

That leaves one slot. Of the 12 slots I’ve filled, four are filled with outfielders — Revere, Brown, Nix and Mayberry. If Delmon Young is healthy it seems clear to me that he’s the final guy. Based on what we read at the end of last week, it sounds like that’s not going to happen. I think that means that Ruf gets the final spot and starts the year with the team.

It seems like the key issue there is whether or not the Phillies truly believe that Mayberry can backup center field. As a Phillie fan, I don’t think you want to see Mayberry spend much more time playing center. I’d guess they will feel okay with that, though, and give the final spot to Ruf. If Revere gets hurt it’s going to be a big problem, but the Phils are, hopefully, going to need to solve it by acquiring or calling up another center fielder, not by giving Mayberry defensive innings there.

Anyway — four slots left based on my table above. My guesses are Galvis, Quintero, Frandsen and Ruf. That would give the Phillies 13 hitters — Kratz, Quintero, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Michael Young, Brown, Mayberry, Revere, Nix, Galvis, Frandsen and Ruf.

Michael Schwimer is still in the mix for the Phils, but I’m going be pretty surprised if we see him pitch a whole lot for the team in 2013.

This article reviews the backup catching options. Humberto Quintero is an elite defensive player — I think that’s why the Phillies acquired him and that’s why I think he’ll win the job. He’s a really bad hitter.

Freddy Galvis doesn’t care what people think of him.


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