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Phils Plate Ten, Lose by Seven to Braves

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, March 18, 2013 06:29 PM | Comments: 31
2013 Spring Training

Steve Jeltz Award: Rodrigo Lopez

In a barnburner of an exhibition game, the Phillies stuck nine runs to Kris Medlen in five innings but could never overcome the lead surrendered by Rodrigo Lopez and the Phils lost 17-10 in Orlando.

The Good

The Phillies offense has been running on all cylinders and today was no exception. Dom Brown drove a 1-2 Medlen pitch to deep right center in the fifth for a two run home run, a cherry on the top of a 3-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI day. Yuniesky Betancourt no doubt increased his once-slim odds of making the Phillies with a 4-5 day at the plate, with three singles and a double. Darin Ruf brought his Spring average up to .224 with a 2-5 day with two doubles, while Ryan Howard, Humberto Quintero, and Ben Revere all had two hits as well. It was very nice to see a lot of this success come off of Medlen, who posted a 0.97 ERA with a 9-0 record for Atlanta after joining their rotation last season.

An interesting note about the Phillies hitters – their success may be due to increased playing time. The Phillies have the top four players in Spring PA appearances (Revere, Brown, Howard, and Galvis) and the number seven player (Michael Young). All are hitting well.

The Areas of Opportunity

Rodrigo Lopez was pretty well exposed today and may have cost himself his shot at the MLB roster. Lopez gave up eight runs, seven earned in two innings pitched and no reliever was able to pitch a scoreless inning. Colton Murray made his Spring debut for the Phils, giving up three earned in one inning pitched.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 806 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 George

    Aaron Cook didn’t help himself, either, but that doesn’t mean Lopez has a better chance, it only means they’re both probably ready to be sent down.

    All in all, this was a lousy game. I’m glad I only saw the boxscore and not the actual playing. There’s only so much hitting a person can take.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeyPaDc

    The game was televised on ESPN. And as I hopped on the treadmill and saw that We were already down 0-6 in the 2nd i almost started praying on my treadmill that, that was not a starter pitching. “Thank” goodness it was an AAA’er, who hopefully just had a bad outing. Bc from what u guys posted and what I have been following he was having a good pre season.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeyPaDc

    Stutes have up a moonball. And besides a blatant miscommunication in the OF between Upton and Heyward, they looked great hitting. ESP Upton (forget which- haha!) who hit a HR

    AND POOR RUF- needless to say his “catch” that happened to pop out of his glove in LF and land in HR territory will be on the highlight reel. But he bounced back at the plate. Good sign.

    Fransden better make our roster.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Ruf’s misplay/glove-HR fiasco is painful to watch… Poor guy. If this didn’t cost him a spot on the roster, nothing will. Looks like it’ll be JMJ/Nix in left.

     
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Considering the expanded inter-league schedule and the fact that it’s now spread through the season, does it start making sense keeping Ruf on on the club as a DH/PH if he can keep his average up?
    Thoughts anyone?

     
    • Posts: 5190 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      My opinion wold be yes, but there is one problem with that, wbramh. His name is Delmon Young. They haven’t seen him play, but his track record suggests that he’s not a great fielder either. I don’t think an NL team can afford 2 “DH/PH” types, they need at least one decent corner outfielder to go with Brown, who is only a couple years removed from being considered a defensive liability as well. Thank goodness it looks like he’s improved leaps and bounds out there. My suspicion since they made the acquisition of D Young has been that, Ruf’s future depends on what the Phils decide to do with him.

       
      • Posts: 5190 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        “wold” Nice typing huh?

        “would”

        I should never type before coffee!

         
      • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        I never type before coffee. But that doesn’t assure me of not making mistakes anyway!

        Ugly game. Nice to see the offense doing it’s thing but the sloppy play has to stop. Seriously, how does a professional baseball player vying for a roster spot on an MLB team catch a ball only to lose it and have it go over the fence like that??? Reminds me of when Jose Canseco had that ball bounce off his head and go over.

         
      • Posts: 5190 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        I expect that poor kid is going to see that replay a lot, maybe on ESPN blooper reels and youtube for many years to come. Hopefully he’s got a good sense of humor. I truly felt for him, seeing that look of “this can’t be happening” in his face sitting on the warning track right after. I’ve been there.

        Here’s what I don’t fully understand. Why didn’t they try to convert him in 2010 knowing they signed Howard long term? I understand that he didn’t show the power promise until 2012, but he still was a minor league career .300 hitter with a fairly decent slugging %. Maybe they tried and he just looked so bad they gave up on it? Who knows? But it would have been nice if he’d trained for it earlier and maybe would be closer to where D Brown is out there now.

        And uh, (clears throat nervously) yeah, coffee probably had nothing to do with it. :-)

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Ruf played LF in 4 games in 2010, and 6 games in 2011. He even had 3 games at third base in 2011. These few appearances seem to have been forced at least in part by having Jonathan Singleton on the same roster.

        Then last year at Reading he played 29 games in left, all of them after he reached mid-May and still had a .979 OPS: 3 in late May, 0 in June, 7 in July, 19 in Aug-Sep. From July 27th on, he played more LF than first base.

        Agreed, it would have been nice if they had gotten him more time in left sooner, as that certainly increases his value, not only in the Phillies org. but also in a trade. They must not have thought he had the physical tools to make it work.

         
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      fyi, there are only two DH games (i.e. road inter-league games) before May 27th.

      DH games by month:

      April – 1 (April 30)
      May – 3 (May 1, 27, 28)
      June – 3 (June 11-13)
      July – 3 (July 26-28)
      Aug – 0
      Sep – 0

       
      • Posts: 5190 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        The schedule makers did us a favor in August and September. I couldn’t believe that when I saw it. There are some playoff possible teams playing a lot of inter-league late in the year, making it harder to catch up in your division/wild card race.

        Detroit, Seattle and Toronto will all lose their DH during series in September.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        On the other hand, if the Phillies are the ones fighting off divisional rivals…. One can dream, right?

         
      • Posts: 5190 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        “One can dream, right?”
        I absolutely encourage that, yes. So, let’s stretch our luck even further and take a peek at the competition schedules.

        The Nats have 2 series with the Phils in September, one with the Braves and also have no inter-league games. They end on the road at the Cards and Diamondbacks.

        The Braves also have no inter-league in the last month, and end at home with the Brewers and a 4 gamer with the Phils. From our perch atop the NL east we’ll just have to hold them off !!! :-)

         
  • Posts: 276 Jeff of Nova

    Avatar of Jeff of Nova

    I think Darrin Ruf will end up making this team, If he picks up his hitting like yesterday the next 2 weeks, then Charlie will make it work cause of all the power upside he brings, Especially since Young most likely will not be ready to play till late April, So Revere, Brown, Nix, JMJ, Ruf sounds like opening day. then whoever is not hitting between, JMJ, Nix, and Ruf will be out when Young is ready

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave P

    I turned on the game

    Saw Darin Ruf’s misplay in left

    and turned it off. Like someone already commented, after seeing that all I thought was “No way do the phils keep him up now”. To be fair, it looked like the ball was going to be home run anyway, so at least he didn’t give the team something they weren’t going to have.

     
    • Posts: 5190 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Which is why it was called a home run, and not an error. I think he made a good effort on the play.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Lefty, just fyi, the ball that bounced off of Canseco’s head and over the fence was scored a home run, not an error.

         
    • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      That’s all fine and dandy …. except that most MLB left fielders make that play.

       
  • Posts: 5190 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    There is an element I’d like to add, and it is not an excuse for Darin Ruf, or anyone else.

    But I’ve heard for many years that the FLA sun and wind in March can make many really good fielders look bad too.

    I know you’ve been there Chuck, would you agree? I’ve never experienced it myself.

     
    • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      That gulf wind CAN be tricky at times and the sun is at a different angle and brighter that what they’ve been used to all winter. So, yeah, throw that element into it. Maybe Ruf DID lose the ball somehow. BUT….. that’s something that a pro player has to figure out, in my opinion. I guess I’d be willing to give him a mulligan if he was tearing the cover off the ball (which he isn’t…yet anyway) or didn’t have the reputation as being a bad fielder (he’s not exactly Willie Mays out there).

      I don’t know…. there’s 2 more weeks. Maybe he gets it together and makes it very hard for them leave him off the roster. I’m rooting for the kid.

       
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Would anyone on here argue that Darin Ruf WOULDN’T be best served by starting the year in AAA and playing everyday as opposed to random starts at the major league level ??

    I think it’s clear that Ruf isn’t ready to play LF … and his bat isn’t so great that you can afford to trade the two skills … I think we open with Mayberry and Nix in a platoon .. Brown as a starter..

    and Ruf in AAA

     
    • Posts: 5190 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      No, I wouldn’t argue it at all. I also wouldn’t argue trading the kid to someone that can use him at first base or DH if you can get something back for him, like a good young right handed outfielder. Skill for approximate equal skill, a simple trade to a team that has your need and you have theirs.

      No team pays it’s pitching staff more than the Phillies do, but even the very best pitchers don’t miss bats all that often. If you’re going to be a pitching and defense team, you got to have both right?

       
      • Posts: 0 Justin McElroy

        I don’t think the return for Ruf will be as high as people may think (or hope). He turns 27 this summer and outside of a few PAs with the Phils in September, he hasn’t even played above AA. He’s a folk hero around these parts for his sudden power surge last season but nationwide there aren’t many baseball people who think he’s an actual prospect. I guess if you want a AAAA player from an other organization (though one who plays OF), it’s possible – but the likelihood of receiving a player who will contribute at the big league level is slim.

         
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        Yea I don’t know that Ruf has any trade value … people need to see more than one surprising season in the minors from a 26-year-old before they are willing to give up anything of value . . .

        There were people on here earlier this offseason predicting that Ruf would put up 25-30 HRs this year .. “Folk Hero” is a good call – that’s exactly what he’s been since last September

         
      • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        He arrived here last Sept. with all that hype…40ish or whatever homers in Reading…and then sort of went on a tear when he was here. People all of a sudden thought he was the next great slugger that could propel the Phillies offense, give it that “punch” so to speak…especially from the right side. In a sense it wasn’t fair to lay all that at his feet this Spring.

        I am MORE than ok with him starting everyday at AAA and calling him up if there’s a need and he has the numbers to warrant it. And I agree that he wouldn’t bring all that much back in a trade at this point.

         
      • Posts: 5190 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Well, I disagree with all of you on this. What is it about Skill for approximate equal skill, that is so hard to understand? I don’t want someone to give us Matt Kemp for Ruf. Let me state my case and then tell me what you think.

        Take a team with a need- the New York Yankees for instance. Texiera’s out, they need a first baseman. They are so power starved they are considering keeping a 25 yr. old outfielder. (one year younger than Ruf) with 7 years of minor league service time (4 more years than Ruf) This outfielder had years of 20, 19, and 23 HR’s, had years of 8,7, and 15 assists with very few errors in 90-100 games per, and they just picked up Brennan Bosch and Ben Francisco.

        His name is Melky Mesa and he’s a perfect equal trade for Darin Ruf. We need a right handed outfielder with a little pop, they need a first baseman with a little pop. the main difference is that our guy hit .305 for his 3 year career, and theirs .244 for his 7 years- But he can play the outfield!

        If it’s true that Ruf is nothing but a Philadelphia folk hero that may amount to nothing, then if you are the Yankees, you still make that deal any day because your guy hasn’t been able to get out of the minors for six years.

        Capisce?

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        The problem I see with this particular trade is that the Yanks also need an outfielder until their own guy heals, in spite of signing Boesch. There’s a reason Boesch was released, and from what I’ve read, he’s little more than depth. The Yanks will likely need Mesa.

        I don’t think anyone was saying that Kemp could be gotten for Ruf, but were only saying the return wouldn’t be good. There’s just not that much interest in 27 year old outfielders. If he can be traded for similar talent, fine. He’d have more of a chance as a first baseman.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        I like your trade, Lefty.
        Yeah, it’s true the Yankees may not be the team to trade with since they’re also hurting in the outfield, at least at the moment, but your idea makes total sense and some other team might make that trade now.

        The one curve ball for either Ruf or some natural fielder remains the 2013 version of Delmon Young who will some day or month (for some weird reason I don’t fully understand) push the more fleeted-and better arm of Dom Brown into left field..
        Young has been knighted as our right fielder without having to spend a minute in a Phillies uniform – or apparently even caring to since he gets chilly easily.

         
  • Posts: 0 Don M

     
    • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Flat out ugly. No other way to describe it.

       
 
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