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Ruf to RF, Manuel hints more moves to come
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Until last August, Darin Ruf had pitched in as many pro games as he had played in the outfield. But then just like that, Ruf found himself in the mix as a future leftfielder for the Phillies.

A year later, Ruf not only has settled into a long look in the big leagues, but also is experimenting with different positions in the outfield.

With Domonic Brown recovered from a concussion and activated from the seven-game disabled list, the All-Star will move back into his regular spot in left field. As a result, Ruf will start Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs in right field.

Actually, Ruf will make his first visit to right field for the game against the Cubs. Once again, Ruf has appeared in more pro games as a pitcher than a rightfielder.

“I was in the cafeteria area and [coach Juan Samuel] told me I was playing right field tonight and I thought he was joking,” Ruf said. “But then he quickly changed the tone and said, 'No, I am really serious here. I was looking for you. You need to go take fly balls right now.’ So I said, ‘All right, let's get out there and work.’”

Ruf likely will get plenty of chances to learn his way around in right field over the final 51 games. With Brown back, the Phillies designated veteran Laynce Nix for assignment and Delmon Young seems slated for a spot on the bench for the time being.

Then again, manager Charlie Manuel hinted that Young’s future in Philadelphia could be short-lived. Though the trade deadline has passed, teams can still make deals until Aug. 31 if a player clears waivers. Manuel senses that Young could be moved before the next deadline.

“I think probably as we go along, there will probably be some more changes on our team as we go down through August and September because the teams that definitely are in contention and trying to win, they might come in and maybe take some of our players,” Manuel said. “There might be a few things going on, but I don’t know. That could help him stay in the light, as far as playing.”

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not knock down Manuel’s assessment.

“I think this gives us an opportunity to see some of our young players,” Amaro said. “We haven’t been playing real well. I think this is going to be an opportunity for us to see these young players, see how they react to the opportunity to play and to try to make some assessments not just for the end of the year, but in 2014, too.”

Of course, the experiment with Ruf in right field could be a short one. Brown came up through the Phillies’ system as a rightfielder and his strong arm is accentuated more as a rightfielder than in left.

Plus, Ruf had begun to get comfortable in left field after spending the last month of the 2012 in the position, as well as time playing in winter ball and spring training. As far as making the switch to right field, Ruf is taking it in the same stride as he did when he went from first base to left field for Double A Reading.

“I guess I'll find out,” Ruf said. “I think when you are playing left field, lefties' balls tend to slice to the line, in right field, righties' balls … so it is kind of reversed a little bit. But hopefully I will pick it up quickly and the reads and routes will just kind of, once I am out there, be similar to left, I guess.”

Then again, since Ruf has reached base safely in 32 straight games, the Phillies will go out of their way to find a position in the field for him. Right field? Sure, why not.