The Most Beautifulest Thing: Delmon Young, DFA'd

The Most Beautifulest Thing: Delmon Young, DFA'd

If you're leaving work today and a total stranger comes up and gives you a big kiss seemingly out of nowhere, now you'll know why. In advance of tonight's game against the Washington Nationals, the Phillies have designated Delmon Young for assignment, cutting ties with the ne'er do well right fielder after 80 games in the Red and White. He will be replaced on the active roster by outfielder Casper Wells, who basically seems like the same player as Delmon with a lower batting average and less miserable defense.

The move was likely made to avoid Young hitting certain incentive-based rewards in his contract, including a $150k bonus he would have received for reaching 300 plate appearances. (He ended with 291.) Ruben Amaro Jr. also cited the old "younger players" defense as a reason to give Delmon the boot. Also, he was terrible and nobody liked him.

The former #1 overall pick ends his Phillies career a .261/.302/.397 hitter, whose mediocre offensive contributions and borderline catastrophic defense have him being worth -1.2 wins to the Fightins this season, according to Baseball-Reference. The nicest thing you could say about Delmon Young's time in Philadelphia is that at least it passed with him bringing about any PR disasters--like, say, throwing a bat at an umpire or repeatedly exclaiming the phrase "F---ing Jews!" in anger. His damage was kept entirely to the diamond, which was considerate of him.

Say hi to more Cody Asche, Darin Ruf and Kevin Frandsen in Delmon's absence, though what position any of these guys will be playing may end up a continuous night-by-night shuffle. With Young and Laynce Nix now surgically removed from the Phils roster, the only player remaining keeping the Phillies depressing is Delmon's twin brother Michael. Get rid of him next, and we're left a perfectly respectable crappy, play-out-the-string ballclub of unknown young'ns and likeable long-time vets. I'm pumped.

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, both struggling mightily through the first month of the season, will get Saturday night off when the Phillies take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Joseph is hitting .190 with one homer and 18 strikeouts in 18 games, while Rupp is batting .180 with one homer and 20 strikeouts through 15 games. Last season, Joseph had 21 home runs and Rupp 16.

Brock Stassi will spell Joseph at first base and bat seventh. Andrew Knapp takes over for Rupp behind the plate and will bat eighth.

Daniel Nava also receives a start, playing left field. The first-year Phillie is hitting .346 with a pair of homers and as many walks as strikeouts (seven).

Zach Eflin takes the mound in a meaningful start for the right-hander (see story). He opposes resurgent Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (see game notes).

Here are tonight's lineups:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Zach Eflin, P

Dodgers
1. Andrew Toles, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal, C
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Cody Bellinger, LF
7. Chase Utley, 2B
8. Chris Taylor, 3B
9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

With their final pick of the 2017 draft, the Eagles selected 6-foot-1, 313-pound Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls in the sixth round on Saturday.

He's the second Washington player the Eagles took in this year's draft. They selected injured cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round (see story).

Qualls had 77 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss and 7½ sacks in 30 career games (see bio).

"I for sure stop the run well," Qualls said at the NFL Draft Scouting Combine. "And I'm actually a lot better pass rusher than a lot of people think. Typically a lot of our game plan as far as pass rushing was to keep the quarterback contained, so I really couldn't get after him like I'm capable of.

"I'm not going to say I'm one of the best pass rushers ever or anything like that — I've only been playing defensive line since I got to college. I'm still learning, but I'm a lot better than people do think."

Qualls was actually a running back in high school, but he said he got bored scoring touchdowns.

"I was 260 playing running back in high school," he said. "I had 1,300 rushing yards, though. It honestly became too easy, that's why I switched to defensive line. Scoring touchdowns wasn't exciting to me anymore, it was just something I expected.

"Then my last year, my coach came to me and said, 'Hey, would you be willing to play some defense?' My mindset was that if I played defense, I could get the ball back. So I played some defensive line, middle linebacker. I was recruited at both of those positions.

"I kind of just did a little research project trying to see what the long term was like for both running backs and defensive linemen, and defensive linemen tend to last longer, have less severe injuries, and honestly on average probably make more money, so I decided to be a defensive lineman. Plus I like the challenge."

With Bennie Logan leaving as a free agent, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Beau Allen and now Qualls in the mix on the interior of the defensive line.

"I feel like I can fit into any scheme," Qualls said. "I can do anything you ask me to, I played everything from zero to outside linebacker, so there's not much I can't do. It's just whether or not someone can accept me being a couple inches shorter than the person they prefer playing there.

"But I'm stronger than a lot of people, and my football intelligence is top notch."