Why Darin Ruf's Emergence Could Mean the End of Ryan Howard with Phillies

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Why Darin Ruf's Emergence Could Mean the End of Ryan Howard with Phillies
Photo courtesy philly.com

Before we begin here, ladies and gentlemen, let me emphasize that this article is most likely a complete stretch of any sort of reality we currently have.

On that note...Philadelphia Phillies minor league first baseman and occasional left fielder Darin Ruf was exceptional this year down at Double-A Reading. He led the league in home runs with 38, breaking Ryan Howard's Reading season record. Ruf also led in RBI with 104. And would you know it, Ruf fell short of the batting average title to complete the Triple Crown...by two points. Nevertheless, he won the Phillies' Paul Owens Award for the best offensive minor leaguer, and he also won the Eastern League's MVP Award.

What Phillies fans may care about more, though, is that Ruf was recently promoted to the major league ballclub. He'll most likely be playing in left field so the Phillies can see what they can get out of him there, but there's likely the occasional game where he'll give Ryan Howard the day off and play his natural position of first base.

Speaking of Ryan Howard, is his job in jeopardy with the emergence of Ruf? Has the Phillies' best minor league positional player made such a statement that Howard, despite the fat contract he's got on his plate, could in fact lose his starting role or even be traded to make room for Ruf?

Well, the sky is still blue, so for right now I'm going to say no. But in the event that it did happen, here's a list of why it's at least a slim possibility.

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