Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

One of the more unexpected storylines of this Phillies sad season is the fact that Roy Halladay returned from shoulder surgery in late August after many thought the procedure wound end his career in Philadelphia. But Doc made impressive recovery time and has started twice since returning. The results have been mixed.

With the question of whether Halladay would ever pitch again for the Phillies answered, the next question turns to whether he'll ever be a consistently effective pitcher again and whether or not he could play a role in the Phillies future.

CSN's Corey Seidman broke down Roy's two post-surgery starts, one impressive, one not so much:

Halladay (3-4, 7.94) overcame early struggles in his first start back from shoulder surgery on Aug. 25 vs. Arizona, but was taken deep twice last Friday on a hot afternoon at Wrigley Field. He allowed five runs in five innings that day.

Since returning, Halladay’s sinker has averaged 87.9 mph and his cutter 86.5. Certainly not encouraging signs, but he and the Phillies continue to state that they are more concerned with his command and movement and that the velocity will be the last thing to return.

We all know Halladay's struggles with heat at Wrigley Field, so perhaps that game could prove to be an outlier, but the velocity is hard to ignore and will certainly be a storyline worth following the remainder of the season.

Phils skipper Ryne Sandberg said before the game tonight that Halladay is still building that arm strength back up. From beat writer Matt Gelb's sulia:

"He's able to use all of his pitches," Sandberg said. "I would say, he's still building his arm strength and I think that's where the velocity would and should come back. But I think that he's one outing at a time trying to build on his last outing. The fact he is pitching; it's hard to say if he's a little bit ahead of schedule pitching the way he is considering everything."

So in a final month where we'll be watching guys like Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, and Freddy Galvis to see if they will lead to a bright future in Philadelphia, it'll also be worth tuning in every fifth day Roy Halladay starts to see if he has any future on the baseball mount at all.

And whether that mound will be in South Philadelphia.

You know baseball fans are pulling for him to return to some sort of Roy Halladay form.

7:05 from CBP tonight. Roy Halladay takes the hill vs. Jordan Zimmermann (15-8, 3.33).

Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Nelson Agholor is expected to be active for the Eagles against the Bengals on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. 

Agholor, who has struggled mightily in his second pro season, was held out of the Eagles' loss to the Packers on Monday night. Undrafted rookie and preseason standout Paul Turner dressed in his place.

The Eagles may be without their leading receiver, Jordan Matthews, who has an ankle injury and is considered a game-time decision.

For the season, Agholor has 27 catches for 264 yards in 10 games. His lone touchdown reception came in the Eagles' win over the Browns in Week 1.

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

BOX SCORE

Rewind 24 hours.

The Sixers were walking off the court Friday night after a dismal blowout loss to the Magic that left Brett Brown reflecting on Saturday, “Here in Philadelphia, at home, that’s not good enough.”

The Sixers had lacked fire and grit, especially with Joel Embiid on the floor against a sub-.500 Magic team that had played the night before in Memphis. 

They had a day to turn it around. A playoff contending Celtics squad was coming to town and Embiid wasn’t available because of his back-to-back limitations. The shorthanded Sixers (see below) had a tall task ahead of them. 

The Sixers reacted by jumping out early and kept the Celtics at bay in the first half. Even when the Celtics cut their lead to three midway through the second quarter, the Sixers responded with an 8-0 burst to go up by a game-high 11 points. 

The Celtics exposed the Sixers' defensive void in the paint without Embiid in the third. With the Sixers up 65-58, Isaiah Thomas drew a foul against Jahlil Okafor. That play sparked a 9-0 Celtics run over the next two minutes, in which Thomas scored six of those points (including four at the line). The Celtics took back the lead during that stretch and forced the Sixers to play catchup.

The Sixers cut the Celtics lead to one in the fourth with a three from Dario Saric, who played one of his most aggressive games of his short NBA career. After the Celtics jumped back up by seven, the Sixers kept fighting and tied the game 100 apiece. The Celtics were able to pull away and finished with a one-point win, 107-106, after Ersan Ilyasova drained a three at the buzzer. 

Inside the stats
Thomas exploded for 37 points (11 for 19 from the field, 2 for 3 from three, 13 for 15 from the line), four rebounds, and seven assists.

Saric recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, both tying career-highs. 

Ersan Ilyasova dropped 18 points, including three treys, and six rebounds.

Okafor and Sergio Rodriguez scored 15 apiece, with Rodriguez adding eight assists. 

Avery Bradley dropped 20 points and nine rebounds. 

Stauskas starts in place of Covington
Brown turned to shooting guard Nik Stauskas to slide over to the three spot in place of the injured Robert Covington (see below). 

“Boston’s perimeter defense is as good as it is in the NBA,” Brown explained. “I think you need to have more ball handlers, people who can make a play, on the perimeter … I feel that Nik has that ability to put it to the floor and disrupt that aggressive pressure that the Celtics backcourt can put on you.”

Broken ankles
Saric came up with the Sixers' highlight play of the game when he did this to Jonas Jerebko in the third quarter for an instant highlight reel moment. 

Always a student
Not playing, still learning. Embiid has been praised for being an eager student of the game. During warmups he sat courtside to watch film on a laptop even though he wasn’t suiting up. 

Injury updates
Joel Embiid is not playing in back-to-back games and sat out the back end of this home-home series for rest … Robert Covington sat out with a sprained left knee he suffered on Friday after colliding with T.J. McConnell chasing a ball out of bounds … Jerryd Bayless missed his fourth straight game with left wrist soreness. 

Up next
The Sixers host the Nuggets on Monday night.