Phillies option Ruf to Lehigh Valley

The speculation about whether Darin Ruf would make the Phillies roster this spring can now stop. The Phillies made the decision today to option Ruf to AAA Lehigh Valley. Optioning Ruf was one of three roster moves the Phillies made on Friday.

Darin Ruf will get his first experience at the Triple-A level when he joins the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to open the season. Ruf has picked up the pace at the plate lately, but was still struggling in left field and the Phillies made the decision to option him out.

Ironically, Ruf was informed of the decision that he would be heading to Lehigh Valley just about a half-hour after hitting a walk-off home run as the Phillies beat Atlanta 7-6 in Grapefruit League play on Friday.

Jermaine Mitchell was reassigned to minor league camp on Friday and will likely start the season at Lehigh Valley. This spring, Mitchell hit .269 in major league camp with the Phillies. (Photo: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
Ruf has never played at Triple-A, skipping over the level when the Phillies promoted him from Double-A Reading last September.

Another outfielder battling for a roster spot with the Phillies - Jermaine Mitchell - was reassigned to minor league camp Friday, ending his shot. Mitchell was signed as a minor league free agent over the winter after spending last season in the Oakland A's organization. Subscribers can find out more about Jermaine Mitchell here.

The outfield moves go a long way in clearing up which outfielders will make the opening day roster for the Phillies. Delmon Young will open the season on the DL, which leaves five outfielders remaining in camp. Ben Revere will start in center, with Domonic Brown in either left or right field and it's likely that Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr. will fill the other corner outfield spot.

The final outfielder figures to be Ender Inciarte, who the Phillies took from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft last December. Inciarte is hitting .238 this spring with the Phillies. The only other options would be to keep Pete Orr, who has played a little in the outfield during his career and can play on the infield as well, or to go outside the organization for another outfielder.

On Friday, the Phillies also released right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who had been sent to minor league camp this past week.

In Friday's win over Atlanta, Erik Kratz had two doubles and a home run, driving in three runs against the Braves.

Adam Morgan started for the Phillies and allowed just one earned run over 4 2/3 innings for the Phillies, while striking out five. Chad Durbin was hit for three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings, while both Raul Valdes and Zach Miner allowed one run in an inning of work. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to get the win for the Phillies.

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