PHILADELPHIA -- Darin Ruf earned the nickname "Babe" in Double-A Reading.
As in Babe Ruf.
That's a hefty nickname, but then Ruf had a hefty season. He hit .317 with 38 home runs, 32 doubles, one triple and 104 RBIs. He hit more homers than anybody in Minor League Baseball, while breaking Ryan Howard's single-season home run mark at Reading (37). The Phillies are eager to see if Ruf, 26, can continue that success in the big leagues, which is why they selected his contract before Monday's series opener against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
"I'm looking forward to really seeing him play," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "There's an old saying: If you can hit, they will find a place for you. In today's game, that old saying goes a long ways. If you can hit and hit for power, more than likely they'll find a position where you can play."
That is the trick with Ruf. He is primarily a first baseman, but the Phillies started him in left field 29 games late in the season. They want to find him a spot to play, and with Howard beginning the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract extension in 2013, it is pretty clear first base is blocked.
Ruf has had his struggles in left field, but he remains optimistic that with a little more time out there, he can hold his own.
Ruf might get some time there in the final month of the season. He certainly will get more time there in winter ball, where he will play plenty of outfield.
"Every time I get out there, I get a little more comfortable," Ruf said. "The more time I can get shagging ... I know it's going to be a lot different up here, bigger stadiums, bigger parks. You have to get used to the outfield, but it's a challenge I look forward to having.
"As an athlete, you always think you can do the job. You want to be able to do the job. So that's the mindset I have to take into it. Anything else would be a disservice to the Phillies and my teammates and everyone who has given me this opportunity to show what I can do."
But like Manuel said, if Ruf hits, he will find a way into the lineup. Manuel thought about starting Ruf in left field on Monday, but said he wanted to take a look at the slugger first. He wanted to see how he looked tracking fly balls during batting practice and swung the bat.
It's a good swing. He hit 20 home runs in August.
"I was just kind of in the zone," Ruf said about that remarkable month. "I don't know what the right word is, but it was a little weird. Even if you didn't hit a home run, people felt like, 'Wait, what was that? He didn't have a good at-bat?' I don't know. It was a fun month. I had a lot of fun with it. ... I'd go up there and strike out and the fans would still cheer for me. It's a baseball town for you, I guess."
Cloyd to pitch on three days' rest vs. Astros
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Tyler Cloyd will pitch on short rest Thursday against the Houston Astros.
Because of a rainout Saturday, the Phillies had Cloyd and Cole Hamels pitch in Sunday's doubleheader against the Rockies.
Cloyd threw just 76 pitches in four innings, so he should have enough in the tank to get through five.
"With my pitch count last night, it shouldn't be too bad," Cloyd said. "We'll dial down the lifting and the bullpen [before Thursday]. We'll just work on little things and get ready for Thursday."
Phillies third baseman Kevin Frandsen was not in Monday's lineup because of a stress fracture in the fibula of his left leg. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he is not sure if Frandsen will be able to play this week. Of course, the manager hopes he can. At third base, the Phillies are playing light-hitting Michael Martinez, who entered the night hitting just .149.
Manuel said he will continue to work in catcher Carlos Ruiz slowly. He is recovering from a foot injury, but saw limited action Sunday.
Phillies right-hander Vance Worley was on the field during batting practice. He recently had surgery to remove a loose body and spur from his right elbow. He said everything is going well, and he could begin a throwing program in six weeks. He is expected to be ready to go in Spring Training.
Christopher Suprun will throw out the first pitch before Tuesday's game against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Tuesday is the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, and Suprun was a paramedic/firefighter and first responder. The Phillies also will mark the anniversary with a state flags presentation before the game.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.