During Grapefruit League play, Ruf is 3 for 23 with one extra-base hit. He has misplayed his share of balls in left field.
Could the stress of manning a new position be affecting his bat?
"That's probably got something to do with his hitting," Manuel said.
In an ideal world, Ruf's bat would overcome his defensive shortcomings. That has yet to happen in the small sample size of two weeks in spring training.
The likely alternative to Ruf in left field at the start of the season is a platoon between John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix. Nix homered Tuesday.
After he was bludgeoned Tuesday for eight runs and 12 hits in the span of 20 batters, Cole Hamels reached a reasonable conclusion.
"Obviously the Dominican Republic has a real good shot at winning the World Baseball Classic," Hamels said. "They're excited and I kind of hit them at the wrong time."
Hamels has never allowed 12 hits in a game, and that statement still stands because Tuesday's exhibition with the Dominican Republic did not count - not even in spring statistics. He lasted 22/3 innings and threw 59 pitches.
The star-studded Dominican Republic lineup featured Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Nelson Cruz, Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Miguel Tejada. It was easily the best unit Hamels will face this spring.
"I can't get off my game plan because, thank goodness, it doesn't count," Hamels said. "I'm just going to take it for what its worth, build on it and go into the next game trying to build my pitch count and execute pitches."
Papelbon was ill
The chilly Floridian weather has conquered one Phillies pitcher: Jonathan Papelbon did not pitch as scheduled Tuesday because of an illness.
The closer still came to Bright House Field in the morning and stared into space while seated at his locker. It has not been the greatest of springs for the $50 million reliever; Papelbon has allowed eight runs on seven hits and three walks in 12/3 innings.
The Phillies have expressed no concern over his performance. His next appearance is scheduled for Friday against Tampa Bay.
The Phillies will see some stiff pitching competition in the coming days. Washington visits Bright House Field on Wednesday and Stephen Strasburg will start. On Friday, the Phillies travel to Port Charlotte to face the Rays and David Price.