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Ruf looking to find his role with Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies senior VP and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke candidly about Darin Ruf's future with the club in September.

"I think he can fill in for us," Amaro said, "but I can't sit here and tell you that he's an everyday player for us. He's going to have to fight for a job in some way, shape or form.

"Can he add some depth to our bench, to our club overall? Can he play a little left, can he play a little right, can he play a little first and give [Ryan] Howard a blow? He can become valuable in that regard. But I don't know if he's an everyday player yet."

Ruf's chances as an everyday player in 2014 were sealed when the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million contract early in the offseason. Ruf could open the year on the Phils' bench, but with John Mayberry Jr. and Bobby Abreu also in camp, that remains to be seen.

"I don't care how I fit in, as long as I fit in," Ruf said Thursday. "Whether you're penciled in to be a starter that day, if your role is to have a good at-bat late in the game, it's just important to do everything you can to be a part of that. That's what I'm doing right now.

"I hadn't played right field until last year. I think it was a pretty honest statement [from Amaro]. I was a kind of a temporary solution last year in right field, but it was a good experience for me, because I got to learn how to play that position."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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