Phillies Sign a Starter and a Setup Man

Phillies Sign a Starter and a Setup Man





While the corner outfielders still remain something of a
mystery, the Phillies went about filling some of their last remaining needs for
2013 with a pair of free-agent additions to their pitching staff. Long-time
Washington National John Lannan replaces Vance Worley as a low-price hand at
the back end of the rotation, while Mike Adams bolts from the Texas Rangers to
become the bullpen’s eighth-inning specialist.

Lannan gives the Phils a lefthander-heavy rotation, but only
for one year at $2.5 million. For that price, the club obtains a starter who
has been fairly consistent during parts of six seasons in the big leagues. For
his career, the 28 year old is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.424 WHIP. He became
expendable last season, which he spent most of down in the minors due to
Washington’s loaded staff. He was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six regular season
starts, 10-13 with a 3.70 in ’11.

Seems like a fine short-term move that is also cost
effective. Nothing to get excited about, but then again when you already have Cole
Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee, guess you can’t be too greedy.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are banking heavily on Adams to
seize the setup role for slightly longer, signing the 34 year old to a two-year
deal worth $12 million. There is also a vesting opting for a third year that is
triggered by appearances. The contract puts him in the top 10 highest average
salaries for a relief pitcher.

Now joining his fourth ball club, the righthander is 18-15
with a 2.28 ERA and 1.056 WHIP in parts of 8 Major League seasons. His numbers
did take a step back last season however. Adams was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA and
1.395 WHIP. His 9.6 hits per nine innings were way above his lifetime average
of 6.9, while strikeouts per nine were 7.7, down from 9.0 for his career. Jim
Salisbury also mentions that Adams is currently recovering from a procedure to
correct blood circulation and feeling in his fingers. He’ll be fine, but could
be brought along slowly at the beginning of the season.

Obviously Ruben Amaro Jr. is counting on something of a
bounce-back year from Adams, not that last season was awful. If he can get back
to pre-2012 numbers though, he and Jonathan Papelbon could become a dominant shutdown
one-two punch late in games.

>> Phillies have deals with pitchers Lannan, Adams [CSN]

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Gunn's bullet points: Logan's injury, battle in the trenches and more

Gunn's bullet points: Logan's injury, battle in the trenches and more

Derrick Gunn give his take on a few keys to the Eagles-Vikings game on Sunday.

• Losing Bennie Logan (groin injury) for this game is huge. He doesn't get a lot of notoriety for the dirty work he does in the trenches, but he helps Fletcher Cox get that push up the middle.

• Keep a close eye on the matchup between Jason Kelce and Vikings DT Linval Joseph. Kelce has been overmatched by bigger, athletic guys and Joseph at 6-4, 330 pounds is one of the best in the business.

• In his first three years as an Eagle, DE Connor Barwin had 26½ sacks as an OLB, including a career-best 14½ in 2014. Through five games this season, Barwin has just one. Fatigue might be a factor. He has played more snaps than any other Eagles defensive lineman (79 percent). Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz says reducing Barwin's playing time might keep him fresher and stronger in fourth quarters.

• WR Dorial Green-Beckham was on the field for 81 percent of the Eagles' plays vs. Washington last week. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich feels DGB is ready for an expanded role.

• Darren Sproles usually wins matchups against LBs, but that might not be the case against the Vikings. Mychal Kendricks' younger brother, Eric, has been a solid playmaking LB for Minnesota and he has the speed to keep up with Sproles.

• I've said it once and I'll say it again: get Kenjon Barner more touches in the run game. Barner has the least amount of carries among the Eagles' four running backs but the best yards-per-carry average at 5.8.

Temple vs. South Florida: Trip to conference championship at stake?


Temple vs. South Florida: Trip to conference championship at stake?

There’s no time to exhale for the Owls.

After pulling off a near-impossible comeback against UCF last week, Temple will play its toughest conference opponent yet when it faces USF at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday night.

Heading into the game at 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the AAC, this game already has conference championship and bowl game implications for Temple.

The Bulls' offense ran all over the Owls during USF’s 44-23 victory when the teams met in Tampa last season. USF currently sits one game ahead of Temple at 3-0 in the AAC.

Let’s take a closer look at the matchup:

Scouting Temple
The Owls’ offense has struggled to find consistency this season. Temple ranks 91st in the FBS in total offense, averaging 378 yards per game.

Coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas will likely try to find ways to get the ball in senior running back Jahad Thomas’ hands on Friday. Since returning from injury against Penn State on Sept. 17, Thomas has scored two total touchdowns in every game. He has 357 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns in addition to 251 yards receiving and three touchdown catches. Sophomore running back Ryquell Armstead has complemented Thomas nicely with 403 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Giving up big plays has been the Achilles’ heel of Temple’s defense in 2016. The Owls have given up six touchdowns of 50 or more yards from scrimmage and a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown. UCF had two touchdowns of 50-plus yards last week.

Other than the long scores, Temple’s defense has been solid, holding opponents to 316.6 yards per game, which ranks 17th in the FBS. Redshirt senior defensive end Haason Reddick has been the Owls’ defensive star. He leads the team with 35 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 6½ sacks.

Scouting USF
It doesn’t get much better than USF’s backfield combo of junior quarterback Quinton Flowers andt junior running back Marlon Mack.

Flowers and Mack lead a Bulls’ offense that ranks eighth in both scoring offense and rushing offense. The two combined for 550 total yards and five touchdowns in last year’s victory over the Owls. Last week, Flowers threw for 213 yards, ran for 153 yards and totaled five touchdowns in a 42-27 win over UConn. Rodney Adams has been Flowers’ favorite target through the air this season. Adams has 32 catches for 459 yards and four touchdowns.

USF’s defense is giving up almost 26 points per game. The Bulls have held opponents to fewer than 20 points just once this season. At the same time, they’ve only given up more than 27 points once this season, and that was when No. 13 Florida State lit USF up for 55 points. Junior linebacker Auggie Sanchez has 65 tackles, eight tackles for loss and six sacks. Senior linebacker Nigel Harris leads the team with two interceptions.

Storyline to watch: Can Temple’s defense contain a running quarterback?
UCF freshman McKenzie Milton broke off a 63-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper last week. Quarterbacks like Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, SMU’s Matt Davis and Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. gave the Owls problems by running the ball last season. Flowers is a special player who will once again challenge Temple with his arm and his legs. He threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 90 more yards and another score against Temple last season. If the Owls can find a way to shut down Flowers, they’ll give themselves a good shot to win the game.

What’s at stake: A trip to the conference championship?
After only three conference games, that might seem a little far-fetched. However, after last week’s win over UCF and a win on Friday, Temple would have tiebreakers over the only teams with fewer than two losses in the AAC East Division. A loss to the Bulls would give Temple two conference losses, meaning USF would likely have to lose three times for Temple to win the East, even if the Owls won all their remaining games.

South Florida’s offense looks poised to give Temple trouble once again, but the Owls have kept it close in every game this season. Flowers and Mack are too much for another Temple comeback. USF 31, Temple 20.