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Phillies living and dying by the home run, could move Darin Ruf to outfield

The Phillies have scored more than 72 percent of their runs with the long ball so far this season.
Ryan Howard has two home runs in six games for the Phillies.Getty Images

The Phillies don't exactly have a lineup that reminds baseball fans or "murderers row."

And seven home runs through six game isn't something to phone home about -- 11teams have hit more than the Phillies, the Rockies and Giants have more than doubled Philly's homer total.

But the anemic Philadelphia offense has mustered just18 total runs during their 2-4 start out of the gate.

And though a half-proficient bullpen could easily have them 4-2 (ahead of Monday's home opener against the Padres) the Phillies have accounted for 13 of their 18 runs with home runs.

What happened to small ball?

With speedsters like Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, PeterBourjosand a bevy of other offensive players able to steal a bag, practice aggressive base-running and give the Phillies options for run production, you'd expect there to be a diversity of run scoring techniques. The team has a single stolen base (though they have scored with a few sacrifices) this season.

But just the long ball, so far, has defined the team's offense.

And manager Pete Mackanindoesn't mind doubling down on the strategy if it helps. With Ryan Howard, the second most proficient home run hitter in Phillies history platooning with another slugger, first baseman Darin Ruf, Mackanin may try and get both on the field at the same time with a righty on the hill.

“If the point comes that I feel we need more offense, that option is available," Mackanin said of moving Ruf to the outfield."I’m not giving up on Bourjos or [Cedric]Hunter. They’re better hitters than they’ve shown. In the back of my mind, I have to be concerned about adding offense to the lineup.”

Ruf started Monday's home opener on the bench with Howard manning first and three speedsters in the outfield.

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