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J. Weitzel
Interests: writing beerleaguer.
Recent Activity
Cliff Lee and Julio Teheran square off as the Phillies celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is 7:05. Here's a look at the standings. [Jump to the newest comments] Continue reading
We're going to see the right-handed relievers tonight - you can bet on that - be we're not going to see Jimmy Rollins. Rollins is not in the lineup Wednesday for the Phillies' rubber match with the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Instead, the shortstop is headed back to Philadelphia to be with his wife as the couple is expecting its second child. Instead, Jayson Nix is making his Phillies' debut at short. Kyle Kendrick makes his season debut on the... Continue reading
Just don't understand why the Phillies insist on making Mayberry at first a thing.
1 reply
Following Tuesday’s one-run loss, some questioned whether Ryne Sandberg pulled the right late-inning levers, with Mario Hollands making his big-league debut and taking the loss in a critical spot in the ninth. Weitzel: There will be plenty of opportunity to roast Ryne Sandberg this season, and this will be the first of many, many losses attributable to the bullpen. But don’t burn that card on the second game of the season. Give it a rest. Only two of their relievers... Continue reading
These non-roster signings prove, once again, there's plenty of marginal talent to go around. It's always a pleasure to report on non-roster invitees, especially with the added emphasis on exposing these players to the bright lights and big stage as the Phils regress into the 2002 version of themselves. Invitees always embody the same basic archetypes. One of them is the little live-armed LOOGY who needs 30 pitches to retire three batters. If you were half paying attention after the... Continue reading
Update: CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury has confirmed this. Michael Barkann was the first to report it. According to a report on 94 WIP radio, via, free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd, 36, is in the Phillies' crosshairs following a hearty 2013 split season between the Mets and Pirates. Byrd, part of the wave of dynamic Phillies talent that ascended through the farm system in the late 90s / early 00s, hit .291/.336/.511 with 24 home runs between the Mets and Pirates,... Continue reading
The Phillies released infielder Yuniesky Betancourt after Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Red Sox in Clearwater, according to reports. Betancourt hit .447 this spring in 47 at-bats but has a nearly 4,000-plate appearance track record of futility at the major-league level. Sunay was Betancourt's opt-out date. Reports indicate that teams like the Cardinals, Yankees and Giants could be interested, so he chose to pursue other opportunities rather than play in Triple-A. Betancourt's release means Freddy Galvis most likely will make... Continue reading
Outfielder Tyson Gillies helped pace Canada's team in the World Baseball Classic qualifying rounds in September. He'll be joined by right-hander Phillippe Aumont and veteran Pete Orr when Canada resumes play March 7-10 in Arizona. Phillies players could set the table for two of the four teams in Pool D as Jimmy Rollins was officially added to the U.S. roster Thursday. Gillies led off and played center field when Canada cruised past Great Britain, Czech Republic and Germany in the... Continue reading
A high-90s win total is where the bar will likely stay if the Phils hope to reclaim the National League East. Beerleaguer: It's sort of the hard truth about the season, isn't it? Let's be blunt: the Nationals took the fat-and-happy Phils, with their five-consecutive pennants lodged deep in their gullet and a blind assumption by Vegas that they were ticketed for another World Series, and tossed them on their ear. Frankly, the Phils were thoroughly manhandled by not one,... Continue reading
The reports of Ryan Howard's death have been greatly exaggerated. Beerleaguer: We're long overdue for a red-hot Howard thread, but there haven't been any good ways to frame it. Last week we learned from that he's been working out, even during his honeymoon. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. suggested he may not be exactly 100 percent for the start of spring training, but is "getting closer." Beerleaguer's fickle comments thread doesn't encourage wishful thinking, particularly when it comes to... Continue reading
The Indians have reportedly agreed on a four-year deal with Nick Swisher, this coming less than 24 hours after Cody Ross decided on the Diamondbacks. That leaves a shallow pool of outfielders the Phils would do best to avoid. Beerleaguer: If the Phillies' outfield falls flat, they'll just need to address it at the trade deadline, a time when corner outfielders are typically available. The pros of signing an aging, risky free agent corner outfielder this winter never truly outweighed... Continue reading
The Phillies made a pair of catching additions this week. [Link] According to Baseball America, catcher John Suomi will return to the organization for a sixth season. The 32-year-old catcher appeared in 61 games with the IronPigs in 2012 and hit .265/.311/.393 with four homers in 212 plate appearances. He's likely to earn another invitation to spring training. The Phils have also added a new face in 23-year-old Single-A catcher Justin Dalles, who was released by the Baltimore organization last... Continue reading
A roundup of weekend leftovers, starting with an update on the Phillies' top bullpen lefty. Antonio Bastardo tasted his first winter ball action Saturday in the Dominican Republic, pitching an inning of perfect relief for Cibao. The 27-year-old lefty is hoping to bounce back from a frustrating 2012 season, one in which his K/9 shot up from 11 to 14 while his BABIP rose from .179 to .306. Still, it was more than bad luck as the walks and mistakes... Continue reading
The Phillies announced their first batch of non-roster spring invitees, including a pair of previously unreported signings from the depths of the American League West. Cesar Jimenez, a 28-year-old southpaw who's spent his entire career in the Martiners organization, and talented outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, a 28-year-old former top prospect who failed to break through the majors in seven seasons with Oakland, will join previously reported signees Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Pete Orr and Humberto... Continue reading
Right-hander Zach Miner, a former draft pick of the Braves and veteran farmhand with Detroit, has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, according to a FoxSports tweet. Minor league free agents were all the rage last season, both around the league and in Philadelphia where Erik Kratz, Kevin Frandsen, Raul Valdes and Juan Pierre prospered after receiving non-guaranteed deals. The Phils have been more sluggish than usual at announcing their non-roster spring invitees. Miner, 30, will join the... Continue reading
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports via twitter that 36-year-old infielder and Rangers all-time hits leader Michael Young has waived his no-trade clause to become the Phillies third baseman for 2013. According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, right-handed relievers Josh Lindblom, 25, and Lisalverto Bonilla, 22 and considered a top 8-15 prospect in the Phillies' chain, will be sent to Texas. According to Nightengale, the Rangers will pay $10 million of Young's $16 million salary. In 13 seasons,... Continue reading
Here's one-man's take on Thursday's Ben Revere for Vance Worley and Trevor May swap, from writer and veteran Twins blogger Aaron Gleeman: "When the Twins traded Denard Span last week the assumption was that they did so in part because Ben Revere was ready to step in as their new center fielder and leadoff man, but now they’ve traded Revere to the Phillies. "Minnesota has an incredible lack of quality pitching throughout the organization and one area where the... Continue reading
Rk Age ERA G IP HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 7 Jonathan Papelbon 31 2.44 70 70.0 8 18 92 164 1.057 1.0 2.3 11.8 8 Antonio Bastardo* 26 4.33 65 52.0 7 26 81 93 1.269 1.2 4.5 14.0 9 Michael Schwimer 26 4.46 35 34.1 3 16 36 91 1.340 0.8 4.2 9.4 10 Chad Qualls 33 4.60 35 31.1 7 9 19 88 1.532 2.0 2.6 5.5 11 Jeremy Horst* 26 1.15 32 31.1... Continue reading
The Phillies were going to sign a veteran backstop even before Carlos Ruiz was suspended for Adderall. Unfortunately, career mediocrity Humberto Quintero will be forced onto the active roster for at least 25 games in 2013. Quintero: True story. The moment I heard the Ruiz news I told a colleague the Phils would sign this exact guy. Quintero, 33, isn't any different than all the other catch-and-throw back-ups who get passed around the league year after year. Quintero, in fact,... Continue reading
Let's refresh the header to make room for the latest gossip. In other news, for those who care about such things, four weeks ago I transitioned out of my role with NBC Sports Regional Networks (formerly Comcast Sports Group, the corporate arm of Comcast SportsNet) into a new, non-sports opportunity with Comcast Corporate Communications, where I will manage the next iteration of Comcast's corporate Web site. It's a terrific opportunity and I'm grateful for my experience with the Regional Networks,... Continue reading
Beerleaguer: Isn't it time to put a stop to Major League Baseball in Florida? If you're hanging a "going out of business" sign less than a year from opening a plush new park in the heart of metropolitan Miami, you have no business there. And certainly, there will be no appetite for baseball after their continued purge. Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio follow Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez out the door. It's only a... Continue reading
It's been a couple of days since the last post. Here's the latest. These are the free agents I've seen in connection with the Phillies most often over the last week: B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Torii Hunter, Kevin Youkilis. Upton seems to be the "it" guy. An ESPN report suggested the Phils are aggressively making center field their top priority and have asked lots of questions about Upton, trying to get a sense of whether he'll handle the... Continue reading
John Bowker, one of the worst Phillies of all time, was named co-outstanding player, while flamethrower Scott Mathieson assisted in a set-up role, as the Yomiuri Giants captured the Japan Series title Saturday night in Tokyo over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. With the Game 6 victory, the Giants added a record 22nd title to their trophy case. Bowker, who was 0-for-13 with the Phillies in 2012 and hit just .196/.267/.310 during the Japanese regular season, clobbered two home runs... Continue reading