PHILADELPHIA -- There is a reason fans and teammates of Double-A Reading slugger Darin Ruf have been calling him Babe.
The guy can hit.
But will it warrant a promotion to the big leagues when rosters expand Saturday?
"Ruf is somebody that pops out at you," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. "He's had an extraordinary year. Ruf is trying to hit his way to the big leagues. That's the way that it used to be like. You had to do something to get to the big leagues. Evidently, Ruf is an old throwback."
Ruf, the Phillies' No. 12 overall prospect, is hitting .317 with 31 doubles, one triple, 36 home runs and 96 RBIs in 132 games in Reading. He has hit 18 home runs this month.
That is the type of hitter Manuel loves: a guy that can hit the long ball.
But Ruf does not necessarily have a position to play in the big leagues. Ryan Howard has him blocked at first base, and Ruf has seen very limited action in the outfield. The Phillies plan to play Ruf in the outfield in winter ball, which could help him find a home in the big leagues.
Manuel didn't sound too concerned about Ruf's defense.
"If a guy can hit, his defense gets a little bit better. That's what I think," Manuel said. "I want to see him, whether it's at the end of the year or Spring Training. I'm looking forward to seeing him. I saw him on TV and it looked like he's got a good swing. Strong."
Manuel is walking the fine line right now between getting some of his young players looks, while trying to win. The Phillies would like to finish the season with a winning record, if possible.
So would Manuel take the risk of playing Ruf in left field, which could cost him defensively and maybe even a game?
"I think if you have a chance to win, it would be a risk," he said. "But at the same time, I've done that before. I'm not saying I won't do that. I've done that before. ... I would say his bat would serve us well if he can get some hits up here. That's what it's all about."
Schwimer doesn't report to Triple-A after demotion
PHILADELPHIA -- Where is Phillies right-hander Michael Schwimer?
The Phillies optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, but he never reported to the IronPigs within the required 72-hour window. He remained AWOL as of Tuesday afternoon. Schwimer was plenty steamed when the Phillies optioned him, insisting he has an arm injury and should have been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Phillies do not think he is injured.
Schwimer got a second opinion on his arm Monday by a doctor from an approved list agreed upon by the league and the Players Association, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday he still did not know if Schwimer planned to report to Triple-A.
He also said the Phillies have not placed him on the restricted or suspended list.
Amaro declined to say anything more. An attempt to reach Schwimer's representation was unsuccessful.
A big issue here is money. By optioning Schwimer instead of placing him on the disabled list, Schwimer no longer makes the big league minimum salary or earns big league service time. But by fighting the Phillies in this matter, he could be burning bridges with the organization because the Phillies seemed likely to recall him Saturday, when rosters expand. Schwimer apparently is willing to take that chance.
It is unknown if he has filed a grievance against the team.
Brown returns, then exits in 10th in Phillies' loss
PHILADELPHIA -- Domonic Brown was pulled at the start of the 10th inning of Tuesday's 9-5 loss to the Mets after manager Charlie Manuel said the outfielder's left knee was bothering him.
"When he ran for the ball down in the corner [on Kelly Shoppach's eighth-inning double], evidently his knee was bothering him," Manuel said. "That's what he said."
Brown, who had missed the two prior games with left knee soreness, said after the game that his knee "didn't feel that bad," and he hopes to play Wednesday. Although Brown never said his knee was hurting.
"I don't know if I was hobbling a little bit, and the trainers or Charlie saw it and wanted to take me out," Brown said. "I think I'm going to do that a little bit anyway with the other injury on the right leg with the brace and everything. I don't feel bad at all."
Placido Polanco did not start for the fifth straight game Tuesday.
Manuel said Polanco, who had been bothered by lower back inflammation, was healthy enough to play and would not require a trip to the 15-day disabled list. But he made it clear he likes the way Kevin Frandsen has played, and that he deserves the majority of the playing time.
"Right now, I think with Frandsen doing what he's doing, he's kind of playing good and it's hard to take him out of the lineup," Manuel said.
Triple-A Lehigh Valley's Tyler Cloyd was named the International League's Most Valuable Pitcher on Tuesday. Cloyd, 25, is the winningest pitcher in the Minor Leagues this year with a 12-1 record, and the right-hander's 2.35 ERA leads the International League.
In addition, Austin Wright, a 6-foot-4 left-hander for Class A Clearwater, was recognized as the Florida State League's Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday. An eighth-round Draft pick in 2011, Wright is 10-5 with a 3.42 ERA for the Threshers this season.