Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Many words have been written about Roy Halladay and his bummer of a spring. But it was a line from CSN's Jim Salisbury, not surprisingly, in a piece yesterday examining Doc's first start tonight that we thought captured the situation rather well.

Halladay’s transition from pitching wizard to muggle began last season
when he was plagued by injury, a flagging fastball and ineffectiveness.

I had to copy, paste, and Google that one. From Wikipedia:

In the fictional world of J. K. Rowling's book series Harry Potter, a muggle
is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into
the magical world. Muggles also do not have any magical blood. It
differs from the term Squib,
which refers to a person with one or more magical parents yet without
any magical ability, and from the term Muggle-born (or the more
offensive mudblood), which refers to a person with magical abilities but without magical parents.

Now, tonight's start is clearly a big one in terms of building initial confidence in your favorite baseball team. But let's not forget Halladay is still basically finishing up his spring training. After that pesky virus set him back last month, he never really got in all of the work he seemingly would have liked to in order to be where he wanted to for his first regular season start. So tonight is not Roy at the top of his game now, whatever that may be. At least he says he feels good, though.

Halladay was just okay in his final spring tune up. Not very good, but not awful. If he puts in even a solid performance tonight, I think it should be viewed as encouraging. A win tonight would be the 200th of his career.

His decline seems to be one of those sad realities that fans are just going to have to stomach. The days of bloggers and penguins freaking out (in a good and glorious way) every fifth day when Doc is set to pitch are over. No more photoshops of Roy as half man, half machine.

But I'm not giving up on the guy just yet. Surely there's still some magic hidden somewhere up the sleeve of his throwing arm?

Tonight is just one outing, but it's likely going to have a huge bearing on how many people are going to feel about this Phillies season.

>>Anxiety, uncertainty surround Halladay's first start [CSN]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.