Howard's 'Replacements' Batting a Cool .190; Time to Move up Chooch?

Howard's 'Replacements' Batting a Cool .190; Time to Move up Chooch?

The idea that the 2012 Phillies might have trouble scoring runs has been fairly well explored at this rate. We also fully acknowledge that spring training numbers can be very tough to read into with any kind of accuracy, so this should all be taken with some proportionately-sized grain of salt.
With that in mind, the spring totals for John Mayberry, Jr. and Ty Wigginton have certainly  underwhelmed. With Wiggington expected to see the bulk of the time at first base in Howard's stead and with Mayberry more than likely filling in the power quotient in the Big Piece's absence, it seemed prudent to see how they were faring.
The answer wasn't pretty.
In 61 plate appearances, Wiggington has just 11 hits, amounting to a .180 BA. Mayberry, separately, is third on the team in plate appearances, but has turned only 15 of his 75 trips to dish into hits, producing a Mendoza line special of .200. Together, that's 26 hits on 136 plate appearances for a combined .191.
Thus we ask: might it finally be time for Carlos Ruiz to make a long-awaited climb up the order if Wigginton and Mayberry's spring struggles carry over into the games that really count in April?
For reference, Ruiz's number of attempts pales in comparison to the other two as he's naturally been splitting time with backup Brian Schneider, but Chooch has a .500 BA and .522 OBP in 44 PA's. Ruiz has traditionally batted out of the seventh and eight spots, as catchers are wont to do, but did hop up to sixth at times last season. He's also shown a certain knack for coming up clutch in big spots for a guy who's traditionally occupied the bottom of the order. 
Can we also point out he finished behind only Pence with a .283 average last year and was the only starter to hit above .300 in 2010?
Again, spring training numbers might be somewhat flawed indicators in the cases of Mayberry and Wigginton, but given Ruiz's March success and his history at the plate over the last two seasons, how would you feel about moving Chooch up in the order? If you're on board, just how high do you want him?
If you're up for it, follow Tim H's example and fill out your preferred lineup card below.

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't support any charity with his cleats last Sunday.

In reality, he was funding the NFL.

The Eagles' receiver was fined $6,076 by the NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats (Kanye West's shoes), which had no affiliation to a charitable organization or cause, CSNPhilly.com has confirmed. Players around the NFL last weekend wore decorative spikes supporting a charity or cause they felt passionately about as part of the league's My Cleats, My Cause promotion. Green-Beckham was fined because his cleats were unapproved by the league; earlier this season Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins was fined for wearing Yeezy cleats. 

Green-Beckham told NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks he was supporting the "Yeezy Foundation." ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the fine on Friday. 

Bradham fined for tackle
Speaking of fines, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was hit with a $18,231 fine for his horse-collar tackle last Sunday on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in the third quarter.

The first-year Eagle finished the game with five total tackles and a forced fumble.