Length of Ruf's current stint with Phillies uncertain

Length of Ruf's current stint with Phillies uncertain

MIAMI -- Darin Ruf is back with the Phillies, but it is unclear how long he will be here.

The Phillies promoted him from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to the big leagues Tuesday, when they placed left-hander Cliff Lee on the disabled list with a strained left elbow. But the Phillies will need to make another roster move to replace Lee's spot in the rotation Saturday. That means a pitcher, mostly likely from Triple-A, will replace a position player currently on the roster.

"I just have to take it day by day and prove I can help this team win now and hopefully I'll get that opportunity," Ruf said before Wednesday's game against the Marlins at Marlins Park.

"Possibly for the three days, but we'll deal with that when the day comes," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said, asked how long Ruf might stick around. "But I see him as an option off the bench in a situation. I know he's been swinging the bat well, just within the last two or three days. He's made some mechanical adjustments and they've worked with him on some different things. Kind of responded to that. But he's here because there's a need and an opening. Whether he needs some more at-bats remains to be seen. He's here as a possible threat in the meantime off the bench."

Ruf opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. He did not swing a bat for about five weeks during his recovery, which is longer than he goes in the offseason without swinging a bat at full strength. He had only 38 plate appearances with the IronPigs before getting called up, hitting .357 (5-for-14) with two doubles, one home run and one RBI in his last 16 plate appearances.

"Better over the last four, five games I would say," Ruf said, asked how he feels at the plate. "It took a little while to get back into the rhythm of things."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.