Phillies Hot Stove Update: Rollins to Dodgers, Bastardo to Bucs, More on The Horizon?

December 19th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


The fire-sale has officially begun. Nine days after agreeing to a deal in principle, the Phillies have finalized a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that will see the franchise’s all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins head to L.A in exchange for pitching prospects Zach Eflin and Tom Windle. This deal came as a surprise to many, as Rollins was the last player that anyone suspected would be dealt. In hindsight though, the deal makes sense. It signifies the turn of a new chapter for this franchise, as Rollins was the longest-tenured Phillie, apart of the organization since 1996. J-Roll has 2,306 career hits, and holds a career stat line of .267/216/887, in addition he’s also stolen 453 career bases. The 2007 NL MVP, is also a 3-time All Star, 4-time Gold Glove, and 1-time Silver Slugger. In 2014, Rollins racked up 131 hits, while batting .243.  He also knocked in 55 runs, while belting 17 homers. Rollins hit the open market back in 2011, where he re-signed with the Phillies on a 3-year deal, worth $33 million dollars. That deal also contained a vesting option, that has secured Rollins an $11 million dollar salary with the Dodgers in 2015. What happens to Jimmy after the 2015 season remains a mystery, but I’d say that the odds of him returning to the Phils on a retirement deal are pretty good.

Let’s move on, and discuss the other side of the deal. The Phillies will receive pitching prospects Tom Windle and Zach Elfin in return from the Dodgers. Windle, and Eflin are both 22 years of age. Windle, a southpaw was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 28th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft. However, he opted to forgo the minor-leagues, in order to attend college at the University of Minnesota. That gamble paid off, as he was re-selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Dodgers. In his two years in the minors, Windle is 17-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 37 combined starts. In 193 innings pitched, Windle has struck out 162, while walking 64. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.53, while his WHIP is 1.35. Meanwhile, Eflin was selected 33rd overall in the 2012 Amateur Draft. In 49 career starts, Eflin is 17-14 with a 3.41 ERA. He has 183 career strikeouts, 65 walks, and has given up 16 homers. His WHIP is 1.26, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.82. While both hurlers are still in the early makings of their careers, they promise to add more depth to an already deep pool of young arms in the Phillies farm system.

The Phillies also struck another deal that same day, sending reliever Antonio Bastardo to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez. In his career, Bastardo is 20-18 with a 3.72 ERA, and 324 strikeouts. Last season, Antonio went 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA.  He also mowed down 81, while walking 34. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.59 in 6 major league seasons with the Phillies. Bastardo is a good addition for the Pirates, as  not only will he add veteran leadership to that locker room, but he’ll also provide a solid bridge gap from the 7th inning to the 9th inning, with the option to have him close out some games. Overall, it was a solid addition for the Bucs. In return, the Phils received 23-year-old southpaw Joely Rodriguez. In 6 minor league seasons, Rodriguez is 22-31 with a 4.02 ERA. He owns 261 career strikeouts, and 131 walks. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.99. Currently playing at the AA level, Rodriguez figures to be a few years away from his major league debut. At that point, he is projected to be a mid-level reliever.

With the trade of Jimmy Rollins, the cork has been popped. That deal is expected to be the catalyst for much larger deals down the line, that include the likes of Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, and possibly even Jonathan Papelbon. The most likely of the group to be dealt is Hamels. Dating back to the trade deadline in July, Cole has been a strong subject of trade rumors. Many teams have had their eyes on the southpaw, including the likes of the Red Sox, and Dodgers. One interesting team of note, are the Colorado Rockies. Colorado has arguably two of the biggest stars in baseball currently, in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. It’s been no secret that either player is happy with the team’s direction, and Colorado has been looking for a deal for one, if not both players. In return, the Rockies would be searching for pitching, and who better to solve the Rockies pitching woes than Cole Hamels?  Not saying that it will happen, but it’s just something to monitor as the offseason lingers on.

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Cowboys- 38- Eagles- 27- Post-Game Recap

December 17th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

(AP Photo)

Team Stats

Dal Phi
First Downs 26 19
Total Yards 364 294
Turnovers 1 4
Time of Possession 41:55 18:05
First Downs 26 19
Passes for First 17 11
Rushes for First 6 5
Penalties for First 3 3
Third Down Efficiency 5-13 5-11
Fourth Down Efficiency 0-0 0-0
Total Yards 364 294
Total Plays 76 53
Avg Gain Per Play 4.8 5.5
Net Yards Rushing 115 75
Rushes 42 21
Yards Per Rush 2.7 3.6
Net Yards Passing 249 219
Comp-Att 22-31 17-28
Yards Per Pass 7.3 6.8
Times Sacked 3 4
Yds Lost To Sacks 16 33
Interceptions 0 2
Punts 5 3
Punt Average 41.0 52.0
Penalties 11 8
Penalty Yards 79 95
Fumbles 1 3
Fumbles Lost 1 2

The Eagles on Sunday night didn’t exactly come out the gate with flying colors, as they not only faced a 14-0 deficit after one quarter, but were in the negatives, yardage wise, at -5.

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Playoffs still possible, but Eagles need help

December 16th, 2014 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, General, NFL

Dez Bryant catches one of three touchdowns over Bradley Fletcher in Cowboys 38-27 win over Eagles.

Coming into week 15 the Philadelphia Eagles controlled their own destiny in terms of winning the NFC East and making the playoffs. An Eagles win on Sunday night would have meant the Eagles would have needed just one more victory, or one more Cowboys loss to clinch the NFC East crown. However, after a disappointing 38-27 loss to the Dallas Cowboys the Eagles can still make the playoffs, but no longer control their own destiny. In order to make the playoffs, the Eagles first off have to win their final two games. If they do that, they will need a little luck.

Ironically, the Cowboys will face the Indianapolis Colts this weekend and face one of the best quarterbacks in football named Andrew Luck. The Colts (10-4) clinched the AFC South division yesterday with a 17-10 win over the Houston Texans, but are still in the hunt for a top two seed in the AFC playoff picture.

With the Eagles trailing the Cowboys by a single game in the division, they will need to win out and hope for the Cowboys to lose at least one of their final two games this season. The second game the Cowboys have is at Washington, which is a much easier game for the Cowboys, so the division title could very well be in the balance this weekend when the Colts roll into Dallas.

The Eagles have some hope with this contest as Dallas is ironically much better on the road (7-0) then they are at home (3-4) this season. The Colts hold a 4-2 road record and are one of the best teams in football, especially offensively which is bad news for the Cowboys who have a below-average defense in the league. Third in the league in scoring, the Colts come into to this game averaging a whopping 33.3 points per game on the road this year.

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Dallas Cowboys (9-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-4); Preview, Injury Reports, Analysis, Staff Predictions

December 15th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in General


For Eagle Fans, the past two games against Dallas and Seattle have had that aura of a “must-win” type of game. In that stretch, the Birds are 1-1. We’ve seen the good (Thanksgiving vs Dallas), the bad (1st half vs Seattle), and the ugly (2nd half vs Seattle) in those two games. They’ve had their ups & their downs. However, this Sunday cannot have any inconsistency. Sunday is truly a must-win game, as the Eagles due battle with the division-rival Cowboys for the 2nd time in 18 days. Unlike the showdown on Thanksgiving, this game has a much larger implication on the division race. Both teams currently sit at 9-4, with three games remaining. The Eagles own the head-to-head over Dallas right now, and a win tomorrow will unofficially crown them as NFC East Champions. But, a Cowboys win would greatly decrease the chances of an Eagles playoff berth. Much like Thanksgiving Day, the injury reports are pretty thin as far as significant injuries go. Let’s delve in a little bit deeper….

Injury Reports:

Dallas Cowboys:

Josh Brent (Calf)- OUT
Dekoda Watson (Hamstring)- OUT
Tony Romo (Back)- Probable
Jeremy Mincey (Personal)- Probable
Rolando McClain (Knee)- Probable
DeMarcus Lawrence (Chest)- Probable
Jeff Heath (Thumb)- Probable
Tyler Patmon (Knee/Ankle)- Probable
George Selvie (Thumb)- Probable

Philadelphia Eagles:

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Breaking Down The Showdown

December 13th, 2014 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, Football, NFL

The last two weeks have both had the “must-win” feeling for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles won the first of those two in dominating fashion against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, but came up short against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. This time around, it is basically win or go home for the Eagles.

On Sunday night, the Eagles and Cowboys will battle, and once again first place in the NFC East will be on the line. However, this time around the winner will have a clear path to an NFC East crown by controlling their own destiny. A win for the Cowboys puts them a full game ahead of the Eagles in the standings with just two games to go, while a win for the Eagles puts them a full game ahead of the Cowboys, including holding the head to head tiebreaker between the two. This game will not be another blowout like Thanksgiving day. The Eagles will have to play their best game to beat a hungry Dallas team who certainly has revenge on their mind.

In order to beat Dallas there are a few key match ups in the game that the Eagles will have to win, so let’s take a look at those.

The Battle In The Trenches

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Eagles’ kicker Cody Parkey’s on his way to a Pro-Bowl season

December 11th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

(Yong Kim/ Staff Photographer)

It would be his first, and a well-deserved selection for Parkey, too.

The Eagles’ rookie kicker’s only 22 years old, and was an undrafted free-agent out of Auburn, one that was picked up by Indianapolis this past May. Parkey was signed by the Colts to be their kick-off kicker, since every-day kicker Adam Vinatieri, at age 41, accepted a more limited role with the team, due to his age. Parkey was described, coming out of Auburn, as a kicker with a big leg, and one that was considered as one of the top kickers in this past-year’s draft.

Three-months later, he was traded by Indianapolis to the Eagles for running back David Fluellen, who was also undrafted. Each team’s trash ended up being the opposite team’s treasure, after the trade went down. Oddly enough, both were released just prior to the trade, but it was approved, due to the releases not being official until 4 PM of that day.

Fast-forward a bit, Parkey’s made tremendous strides and has been fantastic thus far this year, making Eagles’ fans easily forget about the failed experiment that was Alex Henery, Parkey’s predecessor, who’s now a free-agent. Henery had signed with the Lions, following his release from the Eagles three-weeks prior, on September 22nd, replacing Detroit’s struggling kicker, Nate Freese.

Shortly after, however, after three field-goal misses in one game vs. Buffalo, Henery was cut again, following the Buffalo game two-weeks after his signing. He had gone just 1/5 in his two games with Detroit, and 0-2 from 40-49 yards. Despite his criticisms in Philadelphia, in three years, from 2011-13, with the team, he went 74/86 in field-goal attempts; an 86% efficiency. But he was mostly criticized for his weakness, in not being able to be consistently good on long field-goal attempts and kick-off returns, many of which weren’t touchbacks or deep kicks.

Back to Parkey, first off, to give you an idea of how great he was at Auburn, too, he went 15/21 (71.4%) on field-goals in his collegiate career, and impressively led all of college football in that time span in touchbacks, with 69. Despite his success, he was only 1/4 (25%) in 50+ field-goal attempts, although this year he’s improved dramatically in that category, going an incredible and perfect 4/4, including a 54-yard field-goal on October 26th at Arizona. His leg strength, and deep field goals, have been very impressive, surprisingly good, and vital to the team’s success thus far this year. Parkey’s also been extremely clutch, too, as shown by the numerous 50+ made field-goals this season.

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Big Five: Villanova vs St. Joe’s

December 10th, 2014 by Leo | No Comments | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General


Undefeated Villanova, now ranked #10, hosted Saint Joseph’s University on Saturday night. The Wildcats don’t necessarily have a top scorer; instead, Jay Wright’s team really spreads the wealth. Josh Hart, a sophomore guard, scored twelve points; Darrun Hilliard and Phil Booth, both guards, each scored eleven. At the half, Villanova was up by 20; Ryan Arcidiacono opened the second half by being the Wildcats’ ninth player to score. About his dominant squad, Wright remarked, “I think we’ve got eight guys who could carry the team.” It’s hard to argue with a score of 74-46. Saint Joseph’s is now the eighth team to be mowed down by Villanova’s message: they want back in the Final Four this year.

The Hawks had 20 turnovers, missing eighteen consecutive shots at one point. Unfortunately for SJU, DeAndre Bembry’s thirteen points weren’t enough to carry the entire offense. Bembry, a 6’6″ sophomore
forward, averages 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. The Hawks’ rebuilding relies in part on Bembry’s leadership. Head coach Phil Martelli’s insight after the game included, “For us right now, it just doesn’t go in the basket.” Saint Joe’s is now 4-4, tied with LaSalle and rounding out the top 2/3 of the A-10.

Tonight, Saint Joseph’s will host Loyola-Maryland, and Villanova will play No. 24 Illinois at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic. Both games begin at 7:00 pm.

Temple battled LaSalle on Saturday night to win 58-57. The Owls’ win, thanks in large part to junior guard Quenton DeCosey’s nineteen points, didn’t come easily. Temple was up 35-29 at the half, but the second half of the game was almost too much for them. Top scorers for LaSalle were senior forward Jerrell Wright with fifteen and redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Price with thirteen.

Temple is now 5-3, sitting in the middle of the American conference, tied with South Florida. The Owls will host 7-2 Towson on Wednesday night at 8:00. The Explorers will play Drexel (2-5) on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

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