San Francisco Giants: Darin Ruf has earned a spot on the Opening Day roster

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants’ season may be on hold, but journeyman outfielder Darin Ruf has made his case to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The San Francisco Giants aren’t playing baseball right now. For the time being, the baseball world — and the entire sports world — has been put on hold. However, this momentary stoppage is only temporary.

Soon, baseball will return and teams will be faced with the same difficult decisions they would have been faced with earlier if tragedy hadn’t struck. That’s just the reality of the situation.

Among baseball teams, perhaps no decision will be more important than determining the 26-man Opening Day rosters. And for the Giants, numerous tough choices are undoubtedly ahead.

Since spring training essentially completed, there will be no more time to evaluate players to determine those final roster spots. Whatever happened has happened.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Darin Ruf has earned a roster spot.

The former Philadelphia Phillies prospect turned KBO star was signed to a minor-league deal with a major-league camp invite back in January in typical Farhan Zaidi fashion. A no-risk, high-reward flyer, Ruf is a prototypical Zaidi pickup.

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But even though Zaidi may miss far more than he hits on these — as to be expected — Ruf could be one of his few hits.

The 33-year-old slashed .429/.469/1.000 in 14 games this spring recording three home runs and nine RBI. Of his 12 hits, nine of them went for extra bases while he led all Giants in runs, hits, doubles, and home runs.

There was no stopping Ruf who spent the last three seasons tearing the cover off the ball in Korea. Prior to joining the Samsung Lions in the KBO, Ruf toiled around in the Phillies organization for over half a decade but never managed to carve out a full-time role.

Ruf spent time at both first base and the corner outfield but was always considered a below-average fielder. However, he had a patient approach at the plate and plenty of pop to boot.

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He just didn’t really have a position and was never able to get into a rhythm at the major-league level.

At 33-years-old, the potential for Ruf to develop into a full-time starter is all but gone. At this stage, he’s likely more on the decline anyway. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t still provide value to the Giants’ organization.

The expectation was likely that Ruf would spend the majority of the season split between first base and the corner outfield playing down in Triple-A Sacramento. However, his stellar spring training may have changed plans.

Ruf has made quite the case to earn a spot on the Opening Day team and with rosters expanding to 26 players, he’s exactly the type of player who could benefit from the rule change.

The Giants could keep Ruf as a pinch-hitting specialist who comes off the bench to crush left-handed pitching. And perhaps he could even see some time at first base or the corner outfield when a southpaw is on the mound.

His impressive spring showing has certainly turned some heads and there’s no denying that he’s earned a spot.

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Once everything returns to normal and the baseball world resumes, the San Francisco Giants may just have to give Darin Ruf the roster spot he’s most definitely earned.