SweetSpot

Lee auditions for Phillies' trade partners
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PHILADELPHIA -- It’s been a while since the last Cliff Lee sighting on the Citizens Bank Park mound. He went on the disabled list with a strained left elbow on May 18, which means that he was rehabbing through Memorial Day, Flag Day, Father’s Day, the first day of summer solstice and Independence Day while any semblance of spring training optimism faded for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Inside the data: Howard, Rollins, Phillies' D
Jerry Crasnick took a look at the state of the Philadelphia Phillies, noting a number of issues that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. faces heading into the 2014 season.

Phillies unlikely to defy odds with old team
The Philadelphia Phillies will enter the 2014 season with the expectation that these five position players will be regulars in the starting lineup:C Carlos Ruiz: 35 years old1B Ryan Howard: 34 years old2B Chase Utley: 35 years oldSS Jimmy Rollins: 35 years oldRF Marlon Byrd: 36 years oldThat's five guys entering their age-34 season or beyond (a player's age is calculated as of June 30).

Jackie Robinson, Jimmy Rollins and truth
The new movie "42" about Jackie Robinson opens up Friday night. I haven't seen it yet but expect I'll go watch it at some point this weekend. Jerry Crasnick has a piece on director Brian Helgeland's two-year odyssey to make the movie and Jerry, Jim Caple and Jayson Stark review the movie here.

U.S. in trouble after loss to Mexico
Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout aren't on the United States roster, and their absence means a lot of fans don't care about the World Baseball Classic -- certainly not enough to spend a Friday evening in early March watching a baseball game between a largely no-name Mexico team and a still-star-laden U.

Jimmy Rollins and the Hall of Fame
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Does this surprise you? Over the past 10 seasons, Jimmy Rollins has been the 10th-best position player in baseball, at least according to FanGraphs and its wins above replacement metric.

Team USA missing stars, but still formidable
OK, there's no Mike Trout or Buster Posey or Justin Verlander or Andrew McCutchen, but Team USA's provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic looks pretty strong.

What should Team USA look like?
The World Baseball Classic provisional rosters will be announced later this week and news is starting to slip out on who Joe Torre will be naming to the roster.

Power rankings: All 30 teams!
Last weekend, I presented the top 10 teams in my personal power rankings. That was before the Blue Jays officially acquired R.A. Dickey, so I updated my top 10 after that trade, and, to spur on more debate, now present the rest of my rankings.

With Hamels signed, what next for Phillies?
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As if hoisted off the weary chest of the Philadelphia collective by a crane forged from an amount of money unfathomable to most of us, the Cole Hamels Situation has been resolved.

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