Updating a couple of former Phils battling for roster spots around league, plus, Beerleaguer becomes the proud father of a 6 millimeter bundle of joy.
Russell Branyan, Diamondbacks—Though he has put up big numbers in Cactus League play (19-for-42, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs), Branyan has fallen behind Juan Miranda in the competition for Arizona’s first base job; Taylor Buchholz, Mets—With nine scoreless appearances (spanning 12 innings) this spring, Buchholz has likely pitched himself into a spot in the Mets’ bullpen; Nelson Figueroa, Astros—Figueroa has been named Houston’s fifth starter after going 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four spring outings; Jason Jaramillo, Pirates—With a .500 batting average (11-for-22) this spring, Jaramillo appears to be in fine shape to back up Chris Snyder. If the Pirates are able to trade Ryan Doumit, Jaramillo’s roster spot becomes a lock; Jason Michaels, Astros—Michaels is 19-for-46 (.451) with two homers this spring and looks to be in solid shape to make the team as a right-handed bat off the bench. Greg Dobbs, Marlins—Invited to camp as a non-roster player, Dobbs is on his way to securing a spot as Florida's primary left-handed pinch hitter. He's batting .400 in 35 plate appearances. Matt Stairs, Nationals— Stairs, who extended his career by shedding pounds last season with San Diego, is a favorite to make Washington's roster as a fifth outfielder.
All-Kidney Stone Team: God must be a Phillies fan. A day after it was revealed that Beerleaguer will extend its franchise to the Chicago White Sox, Beerleaguer Grand Puba Jason Weitzel was hospitalized with a kidney stone this morning. Fortunately, Jason is doing better, but despite his best efforts, he still was unable to land a spot on the All-Kidney Stone Team: C Fred Payne; 1B Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas; 2B Donald Ouchterloney (the only minor leaguer on the team; 3B Ed Sicking; SS Travis “Stonewall” Jackson; LF Jeff Stone; CF Ken Griffey Jr., aka “The Kid”; RF John Stoneham; DH Michael Restovich; RHP Roy “Doc” Halladay. – Drew Silverman for the ailing Beerleaguer
Major scare for Oswalt in Phils loss: Roy Oswalt came out of the game in the fourth inning after taking a Manny Ramirez line drive to the back of the neck. Despite the scare, the pitcher rose to his feet under his own power and according to CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury, Charlie Manuel expects Oswalt to make his next start. In his abbreviated outing, Oswalt completed three innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out four.
Lost in the fray of Oswalt’s brush with blunt trauma was Luis Castillo’s Phillies debut. Castillo, who failed to show up for Tuesday’s game, batted second and went 0-for-4 with four runners left on base. Castillo wasn’t alone in his struggles at the dish. The Phils only managed four knocks in seven innings off Tampa starter James Shields, who allowed no runs and K’d four. Michael Martinez was the only Phillie to notch multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base. - Written for Beerleaguer by Matt Grassie