Phillies call up minor league slugger Darin Ruf
Minor league home run champion Darin Ruf was called up by the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
The team selected Ruf's contract after he led all minor leaguers with 38 home runs this season for Double-A Reading. He hit 20 homers in August.
He earned the nickname ''Babe'' Ruf in the minors and several Phillies called him that in the clubhouse before their game against Miami.
Ruf was not in the starting lineup. He made 98 starts at first base and 29 in left field this season.
Ruf topped Ryan Howard's mark of 37 homers for Reading set in 2004. They are now teammates, though Howard blocks Ruf's path to the majors at first base. The Phillies would like to try Ruf in left field for some September games.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was impressed with Ruf's power.
''I didn't see (anybody) else down there come close to that,'' he said.
His new teammates teased Ruf about his nickname. One Phillies player ended Ruf's pregame media session by asking, ''Hey Babe, I've got a question.''
The 26-year-old Ruf said he was ready to show what he could do with the Phillies.
''You always think you can do the job,'' he said. ''You want to be able to do the job. That's the mindset I have to take into it. Anything else would be a disservice to the Phillies and my teammates and everyone that's given me this opportunity to show what I can do.''