Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
The 25th spot on the Philadelphia Phillies will probably go to Darin Ruf, if a corner outfielder is not added. Are the odds in his favor?   TAL’S HANDY CAPS WELCOME, NEWCOMERS:  My articles are designed to represent a baseball man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the team’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.   Check out:  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: What happens to that $7 million?   Baseball-Fix Schedule When the stove is hot, I will continue the process of the previous Monday’s approach, if appropriate.  For early birds Sunday evening is post time. Due to a strong response and a complicated off-season, my reviews will be weekly until spring training ends. The new summer schedule will allow me to publish the best 3 storylines each week, but there will be an updated calendar included with each feature:  Posts involving commentary, polls and stats will be listed for the upcoming 7 days.  This review is updated (2nd posting). TIMEFRAMEFORMATPUBLISHING December to AprilBaseball-Fix MondayWeekly December to AprilSuds or Studs2-4 Times a Month April to Season's EndNitecap Insight3 Times a Week April to Season's EndSuds or Studs2 Times per 10 Days April to Season's EndTal's Handy Stats2 Times per 10 Days     Ruf Supplies a 3-Run Double in the 1st at the Bank on September 27 against the Nats   5TH DECEMBER  BASEBALL-FIX MONDAY      The Spring Swing:   There are reasons to expect Ruf on the opening day roster. That is provided he continues to produce in Clearwater. He certainty didn’t stop after his September in Philly. The faithful, however, should be prepared for another streaky stud. He played winter ball for Tiburones de La Guaira. His appearances were:  24 in leftfield, 5 as the designated hitter and 3 at first base. He batted 3rd once (contest 10 of 32) and the rest were in the cleanup slot. He averaged .258 with 17 free passes, 10 taters and 27 RBI. He was plunked by 4 pitches and made 2 errors. His streaks: 1 for 12 with a double over 3 games. 7 for 23 (.304) with 4 homeruns and 6 RBI over 5 battles. 0 for 13 over 4 contests. 11 for 30 (.367) with 5 bombs and 12 RBI over 8 games. 1 for 13 with 3 RBI over 4 contests. 12 for 35 (.343) with 1 dong and 3 RBI over 8 battles.   Alfonso Soriano Lines a 6th-Inning Single on September 30 in Phoenix If Michael Bourne drops to $7 million for 1 return campaign, Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. would not be job competitors. Because Ben Revere has a below-average arm, which is similar to Juan Pierre’s. Revere would probably play left, while Dom Brown and Mayberry would patrol right. That said, don’t expect Bourne’s price to drop that low.   Financial Table @ Philadelphia Phillies storyline: What happens to that $7 million?   Alfonso Soriano would be a workable solution in the lineup behind Ryan Howard, and $4 million each is a reasonable 2-tour value. However, Soriano is not a good defensive fit with Michael Young at third, which would weaken left-side fielding. Plus, Rube Amaro isn’t eager to part with a minor leaguer in a potential swap. Mayberry Smokes an RBI Single during the 1st on September 14 in Houston A platoon of Scott Hairston or Vernon Wells with Brown and Laynce Nix is financially attractive at $2.5 million. However, Hairston wants $10 million over two 162’s, which would be a bargain for an everyday right fielder. The Angels would eat most of Well’s contract, which would cost the Phils $4 million each for 2 years and a prospect. It doesn’t look like a trade that would benefit the red pinstripes. The current plan is $7 million, tops, for a starting outfielder. He doesn’t have to be a power hitter because the need is for run production, which means extra base hits. The position in the batting order is not an issue either. The fly-ball tracker can also be a left or right-handed swinger. The three acquisition opportunities to look for are just before spring training, at the end of March and July 31. Without an added player, the locals will alternate Brown and Mayberry in right. The other corner will feature Ruf and Nix. That way the bench will always have either 2 right or left-handed sticks to pinch hit. Plus, the leather of Mayberry and Brown would probably be used in the late innings.   The Corner Outfielders: PLAYER & AGEPOS.ABAVG.HRRBIBB IBB RH John Mayberry Jr., 29Right Field441.2451446342 LH Dom Brown, 25Right Field187.2350526212 TOTALRight Field628.2421972554 RH Darin Ruf, 26Leftfield033.3330310021 LH Laynce Nix, 32Leftfield114.2460316120 TOTALLeftfield147.2650626141     Combined stats: Current leftfielders projected to 441 at-bats equals .265, 18 dongs and 78 RBI. Current right fielders produced a .242 mark, 19 jacks and 72 RBI.   Brown Crushes a 7th-Inning Homerun on September 17 in Queens     Pierre was instrumental when he schooled Ruf, Brown and Mayberry about the jobs to be won after the departure of 2 stars. Ruf during a recent interview stated his intentions are more than just making the club. And he wasn’t the only one who voiced an opinion. Charlie Manuel was asked during the winter meetings about his training camp expectations. The first words out of his mouth were about Ruf. Manuel anticipates seeing him at the plate and on the field after his continued growth in Venezuela.   LINK-UP BELOW: A link for specific email notification is provided below. Any holdups that may occur will be posted at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook. This is the 9th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (The Number One Requirement) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Suds or Studs.  I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the 2013 ERA for the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page. TAL’S HANDY LINKS   Email Notifications TAL’S HANDY CAPS on Facebook  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Manuel is relieved Philadelphia Phillies news: Suds or studs, the boss Phillies Tal Venada (Author Archives) Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the NL East at final game 162 Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the MLB 5 at final game 162  
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