We're sorry to report Darin "Babe" Ruf did not continue his storybook year by depositing a baseball into the flowerbeds in left field, as we suggested he might in the pregame. Had he done that, I would be busy shooting my psychic hotline commercials right now.
Instead the Eastern League MVP went ahead and continued writing the pages himself, and he decided the next chapter could do a little bit better than the flowerbeds. How 'bout 10 rows deep?
Making his first Major League start, Ruf stepped up to the plate with two out and none on in the bottom of the second. The 26 year old worked a full count before taking Ross Detwiler's 3-2 offering for a 400-foot ride to the seats in left-center.
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Ruf returned to the dugout to no reception, his teammates giving him a good-natured silent treatment for a solid five minutes. Charlie Manuel told reporters even the bat boy wouldn't acknowledge the slugger. From Sully's story:
“That was the longest silent treatment of all time,” [Ruf] said. “It was probably for all the times I suggested we do it to someone in Double A. I guess I had it coming to me.”
As for the game itself, the Phillies held off Washington 6-3. Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown also went yard, while Cole Hamels picked up his 16th win and Jon Papelbon earned his 37th save.
>> Ruf's homer highlights Phillies' win over Nats [CSN]
The Phillies' depth at second base has taken a hit.
Jesmuel Valentin, the starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley, is headed for surgery after dislocating his left shoulder. General manager Matt Klentak indicated that it was likely Valentin would miss the remainder of the season.
Valentin, 23, made a good showing in big-league spring training camp and, in fact, was the last position player cut from the 25-man roster. He had been off to a slow start at Lehigh Valley, hitting just .229 with a .573 OPS in his first 29 games.
With Valentin out, the Phillies could promote top second base prospect Scott Kingery from Double A to Triple A. While that is likely to happen at some point, nothing is imminent, Klentak said. The IronPigs will use veteran Pedro Florimon at second for the time being.
Kingery, 23, has been on a tear at Reading. He entered Monday leading the Eastern League in homers (13), extra-base hits (25) and slugging (.651). Overall, he was hitting .289 with a 1.018 OPS.
"Not imminent," Klentak said of a possible promotion for Kingery. "Very possible down the road. We've got more than enough infield coverage (at Triple A) to be fine and Kingery is good where he is."
Kingery, a 2015 draft pick, played just 37 games at the Double A level last season. He entered Monday having played in 37 games there this season.
Kingery on Monday was named the Eastern League player of the week for May 15-21. He went 9 for 30 with five homers, six RBIs, nine runs scored and an .833 OPS.
With all the bat flips going on in Major League Baseball by the likes of Odubel Herrera and Jose Bautista, it's a good bet that kids watching the game are taking notice.
Gloucester Catholic High School's Chris Turco has apparently seen the celebration.
In a game on Sunday, Turco launched the ball high above the wall in left field. However, he may have launched the bat even higher.
Look at this ridiculous bat flip.
According to Kevin Minnick of South Jersey Sports Digest, both of the next hitters were plunked and Turco's team lost.
Despite that, Turco is giving the pros a run for their money in the bat flip department.