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J. Weitzel
Interests: writing beerleaguer.
Recent Activity
Now that Ruf's back, it's time to begin the phase out, and the only thing holding the Phils back from an outright release is holding out hope that some team will become desperate enough to add Howard and maybe take on 5% of what's owed on the contract. Power doesn't grow on trees, but we're talking about a sub-replacement first baseman and his only useful tool - power - is nearly depleted. First base, which has been accounted for for more than a decade with Thome and Howard - is the one spot where the Phils could try to be creative in the way lots of other teams have found success on the cheap in the post PED era. Brandon Moss the most recent example and one discussed most here. In Ruf, you basically hope he becomes what Lucas Duda became for the Mets. You think about all the chances Howard had this season with runners on base. If he was even an average player in the mold of a Duda, how many RBIs would he have now? I'm eager to see how this plays out. If you cut the cord with Howard, first base is your best chance to move the needle offensively. But man ... 60 million remaining. This player and deal have brought down the entire house.
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[Jump to the newest comments. Thank you, faithful Beerleaguers] Continue reading
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.
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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