Earlier today we learned the the Phillies would promote first baseman Tommy Joseph to the big league club from AAA Lehigh Valley.The question of the day became which player would be removed from the Phillies roster to accommodate.  The impending roster move is finally official: first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf will be optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley.

While Ruf was sent to the minors in 2013, 2014, and 2015, the 2015 stint at AAA Lehigh Valley was not long enough to count as an official minor league option. Brad Engler of Crashburn Alley noted earlier today that any stint in the minor leagues less than 20 days is not counted as an option.  That means the Phillies will retain control of the disappointing Ruf, who is batting just .158 in 2016.  Ruf began the season in a first base platoon, but began playing some outfield in the hopes of increased production from left field.  Ruf has not homered in 2016 and has driven in just three runs.

Going forward, the move means more playing time in the Phillies outfield for David Lough and Tyler Goeddel.  Goeddel is batting only .159 himself, while Lough is batting .239.  Manny Burriss, on the Phillies roster as a backup infielder and outfielder, is batting just .080.

The Phillies will head to Detroit and Chicago for interleague series with the Tigers and White Sox, meaning there will be room for both Howard and Joseph in the Phillies lineup.  Otherwise, Joseph and Howard figure to platoon at first base.