October 1, 2015 |
IN THE EARLY 1990s, when Ron Hextall was in his mid-20s and entering the prime of his goaltending career, the message was pretty straightforward when it came to playing his position and getting ready for a new season. "All they did with us was gave us our equipment and said, 'Go get em,' " Hextall said. There weren't goalie-specific trainers to work with in the offseason. There weren't many offseason training programs designed for goaltenders, either. You'd show up at camp, put the pads on and go to work.
September 25, 2015 |
MIAMI - The first six starts of Jerad Eickhoff's major-league career have provided the Phillies a bit of help when it comes to filling out their starting rotation for 2016. The 25-year-old righthander has shown the ability to command his fastball to either side of the plate, flashed an above-average curveball and mixed in a solid slider. But a factor that will help dictate Eickhoff's ceiling, whether he down the road ends up a mid-to-back end of the rotation starter or a workhorse reliever, will be the development of his changeup.
June 19, 2015 |
CHIP KELLY made the annual, ceremonial declaration common to all coaches, that no hard and fast conclusions should emerge from the Eagles' spring work. Yesterday's bit of cautionary Kelly boilerplate might be more accurate than usual this year, given the long list of new starters we haven't seen in pads yet, and the fact that the presumed No. 1 quarterback, Sam Bradford, has yet to throw in an 11-on-11 session. "It's a lot of new people coming into the fold right now, but chemistry is going to come," cornerback Byron Maxwell said.
June 5, 2015 |
BILL DAVIS can tinker more now. It's too early to worry about who starts where in his base defense, the Eagles' defensive coordinator said yesterday, but Davis does see, with, say, three top-notch inside linebackers, some interesting variations. Davis is just trying to get everybody healthy and in sync, he said, with DeMeco Ryans coming off an Achilles' and Kiko Alonso coming off an ACL, while learning a new scheme. But ultimately, adding Alonso to ILBs Ryans and Mychal Kendricks, not to mention ex-Packer Brad Jones and third-round rookie Jordan Hicks, "expands our ability to play with more packages," Davis said.
April 23, 2015 |
THE EAGLES will not have to worry about defending Jimmy Graham, but they will have to contend with Ndamukong Suh. With so much turnover in the last month, here is a look at moves made by the Birds' opponents: Week 1 - at Atlanta Biggest move: Replacing head coach Mike Smith with Dan Quinn, who had been the defensive coordinator in Seattle. Kyle Shanahan will be Matt Ryan's third offensive coordinator in 5 years. Key additions: DE Adrian Clayborn (Tampa Bay), LB Brooks Reed (Houston)
April 9, 2015 |
HOWEVER YOU feel about the front office's past missteps, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick have done a solid job rebuilding the organization's minor league depth over the past year. The system is still woefully thin on hitting prospects and, with the exception of top prospect J.P. Crawford, devoid of the kind of blue-chip talent that might fulfill the Phillies' stated desire to build "a new core. " But it is in much better shape than it was a year ago, when half of its top 10 prospects weren't even in the system.
April 6, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Ryan Howard blooped a single to center field in the final inning of another lost Phillies season late in September, the notion existed that it may have been his final at-bat with the team. But six months later, after a winter in which the club's front office failed to find a taker for the aging slugger and a fraction of the $60 million left on his contract, Howard will find himself back at first base at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon. This season, the first of the Phillies' daunting rebuild, will differ from its immediate predecessors, but not in terms of who bats cleanup.
April 1, 2015 |
THE RED SOX' David Ortiz wrote an entertaining piece for the Players' Tribune, the website run by former Yankees great Derek Jeter. Ortiz, who is listed as "editor at large," gave a first-person account of being tracked down and tested for performance-enhancing drugs during the offseason. "I was ready to shoot somebody, man. Literally," writes Ortiz. "I was sleeping at my house in the Dominican this winter when I heard a banging on my front door at 7:30 in the morning. Now, I got security.
March 28, 2015 |
General manager Ron Hextall sees how the Flyers play against elite teams - in the last five weeks they have defeated Nashville, St. Louis, the New York Rangers, Detroit, and Chicago - and doesn't think he needs to make many offseason moves. "There's not going to be a massive turnover," Hextall, who will have limited offseason cap space unless he can shed some salaries, said while watching the Flyers whip the Blackhawks, 4-1, at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday. "I think we're a better team than we've played.
March 25, 2015 |
PHOENIX - The Eagles have just $8.6 million in salary-cap space following the recent head-spinning flurry of free-agent signings (Byron Maxwell, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Walter Thurmond) and trades (Sam Bradford, Kiko Alonso), according to numbers-crunching spotrac.com. But $5 million of that is earmarked for the rookie pool. That means that, unless the Eagles restructure some other contracts, it isn't likely that defensive end Fletcher Cox and linebacker Mychal Kendricks will be receiving early contract extensions.