PHOENIX -- Injured outfielder Darin Ruf continues to make progress and could begin playing in extended spring training games as early as next week.
Ruf, who suffered a strained oblique in March, recently participated in a live batting practice against Ethan Martin, according to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro. Martin has been slowed by shoulder discomfort.
Last season, Ruf hit 14 home runs and drove in 30 runs in 73 games for the Phillies. He also struck out 91 times.
Nieves relishing time back at Chase Field
PHOENIX -- Backup catcher Wil Nieves is back in Arizona and enjoying the view from the visitors' dugout.
Nieves, who spent last season with the D-backs, has played in four games -- all day games -- for the Phillies this season. Three of his four starts have come after night games and he hopes to play in the series finale against his former team on Sunday afternoon.
"I pretty much play twice each week and I was also told to be ready when [starting catcher Carlos Ruiz] needs a rest, so it's a situation I've wanted for a long time," Nieves said. "This manager has a feel for the team and me. He doesn't ask. He explains the situation and tells me he wants me to play. I appreciate that."
Nieves has four hits in 15 at-bats and he has driven in two runs so far this season. He played in 71 games for the D-backs in 2013, in large part because of the back injury to Arizona starting catcher Miguel Montero.
"Miguel wants to play every day. He's a gamer and if I was him, I would do the same," Nieves said. "But Miguel needs rest, maybe one day a week, so he can play the entire season healthy. You play every day and then you add the travel and the stress of a season and it affects you. I watched him do it and I want him to be strong all year."
Nieves signed a one-year deal with the Phillies in December. The D-backs were one of the teams he considered last winter.
"There was some hope that I would come back to Arizona, but baseball is a business and they had to do what was best for them and I had to do what was best for me," Nieves said. "But it's good to be back for the weekend and say hello to my ex-teammates."
Catching prospect Joseph hits DL with head injury
PHOENIX -- Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph suffered another head injury Friday at Double-A Reading and was placed on the Minor League disabled list Saturday with a possible concussion.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said Joseph "felt a little uncomfortable and foggy" after taking a foul tip to the mask early in the game on Friday.
"It's a shame because he had been really swinging the bat well," Amaro said. "He was disappointed. We're disappointed. Hopefully it won't be a long-term thing. He already felt better [Saturday]. We'll see."
Joseph, the Phillies' No. 16 prospect, was the centerpiece in the trade with San Francisco for Hunter Pence in 2012 and was considered one of the top catching prospects in the game at the time. He was limited to 36 games last season because of persistent concussions symptoms.
"He was doing fine. He had a very good winter ball and went through spring fine," Amaro said. "He took a tough foul tip, I guess, and it jarred him. The concussion stuff is scary. So we'll monitor him and see how it goes."