The Philadelphia Phillies can't expect to be a playoff contender if they use two outfield platoons. While Darin Ruf has unbelievably emerged as a future force, can his potential justify drifting into spring training with no backup plan?
Center field isn't an issue, as former Minnesota Twins' outfielder Ben Revere has a decent (though not deep) resume. Many baseball people are comfortable with this young man's overall offensive abilities and they also fully endorse his solid glove (maybe future gold) work.
Right field is currently designated as Domonic Brown's territory. Barring any preseason trades, this long-time prospect will be given another chance to prove that he can be a regular in the big leagues. John Mayberry Jr. appears most likely to serve as his backup.
The late addition of a veteran outfielder would change Charlie Manuel's roster mix, potentially impacting the situation in left field as well.
Ruf may make the team out of spring training. If it appears as though he's not ready to start the season in the majors, Amaro will obtain someone to share left field with Laynce Nix. The Phillies' general manager could also obtain a right fielder in that scenario, in which case Mayberry and Nix might share left field duties. Of course, either of those players (or Brown) could also be part of any deal.
At this point, it seems rather risky to enter the season with two unsecured outfield spots. It would be hard to imagine Amaro forcing Manuel to experiment with two key parts of his 2013 starting lineup through the July 31 trade deadline. A new variable is likely to be entered into the equation long before then.