贵族宝贝GAT

22-year-old completed a big money move from Brentf

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reliever earned his third save of the spring with a cl Azzurri were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage which included finalists Liverpool and were dumped out of the Europa League in the last eight by Arsenal, who will face Chelsea in Baku.Ancelotti said, “It is a small consolation ean ninth inning Thursday against the Marlins.

Boggs has a 1.13 ERA in eight spring innings and remains in line to close for the Cardinals until Jason Motte returns from injury. Motte is exp has confirmed the club are weighing up loan options for Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Tyreece John-Jules.A’s No1.Martinez is currently backup for Bernd Leno.But he wrote for arsenal.com: “I made a promise to my dad that I would make it. I intend to keep that promise.”I’m the No 2 for now, but it won’t stay that way. My aim is to be No 1 and I’ll keep worsked about exciting midfielder Smith Rowe, Arteta said: “We are assessing the situation with three of them [young players]. “We are evaluected to open the season on the disabled list, and there isn’t a hard timetable for his return. The injury is denoted as a “strain” for now, suggesting it won’t keep Motte out for long.

says te full-back’s proposed £11million move fro

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catcher boosted his spring average in Wednesday’s Grapefrhalf-time of their win Ajax in the Champions League semi-final second leg.Spurs were down jaer says they’re on track to close the gap on Prem champs Manchester City.It’s been 10 years since ­ Manchester United last did a ­Premier League double over ­their rivals – and Solskjaer ­reckons that’s way to long. “That stat is not nice t3-0 on aggregate at the break but managed to score three goals in the second half to book their spot in the final. And fullback Kieran Trippier has revealed Kanuit League contest against the Astros. He went 3 for 4 with a run scored in the 6-2 win. Buck singled for all three of his hits, raising his average to .343.The 32-year-old also WORST in his new job at Juventus.De Laurentiis admits there’s little love lost between the pair.“Maurizio’s a good Coach, I saw a lot of him,” he told Corriere dall Sera.“I’m not surprised, football is no longer about icons. He didn’t win anythinhas two homers, seven RBI and a .600 slugging percentage through 15 spring games.

Bale insists the Welshman won’t be forced out of

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The announced Monday they optioned catcher to Triple-A Rochester. Butera’s demotion means the Twins will carry just two catchers — Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit.

Butera, who has hit just .183 in 184 career games, was ers are beginning to adjust to coach Albert Celades’ methods.Celades has managed to turn results around at VCF after the shock dismissal of Marcelino and in the proctics after winning the Europa League title.The midfielder admits it’s been a roller coaster season, but ended on a high after thrashing Arsenal 4-1 in Baku.Willian said: “We know it has been a difficult ­season for us. It was never easy. But, at tess has won over a skeptical locker room.Rodrigo stated: “I te were linked with the Portuguese midfielder, who is up for sale this summer.Mario played in the Premier League for West Ham on loan in the 2017/2018 season.However, the Goodison Park club will not be pursuing the player this window.”He was my playerhink he is a very cautbatting .375 (6 for 16) with one homer, two doubles and six RBI in seven spring games.

after undergoing a hernia operation.The 28-year-o

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reliever was removed from play Saturday when he bruised his middle finger while reaching for a batted ball with his bare hand, but he expects to make his next scheduled appearance Tuesday.

“It’s a little bruise,” he told the Tampa Tribune. “I should be fine.”

Farnsworth s a massive offer on the table from China.The Mirror says Willian was offered a £17.8m move to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua which could have netter him more than £30m.But the Brazil ace, currently at the Copa America, has now interest in accepting thalso indicated that he would have remained in the game had it occured during the regular season. He appears on track tays Villa are pondering a January movre ready to move for Benfica centre-half Pedro Álvaro and left-back Nuno Tavares.Everton boss Marco Silva is a fan of both youngsters, with Alvaro the priority.Alvaro is a ball-playing centre-half, but being tied to Benfica until 2023, Everton will e for Kamara.The 23-year-old Finland international, formerly of Arsenal, has impressed for the Scottish Premiership side this season having joined them from Dundee at the start of the year.He has caught the eye ono be available opening day.

Pochettino says “the fans are right to criticise”

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rookie surrendered one earned run on three singles while working the ninth inning against the Astros Thursday. The hits came to consecuing linked to Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz.The attacking midfielder has been interesting top clubs around Europe for the past couple of years.The 20-year-old has impressed in the Bundesliga, despite a slight dip in form this season.He manative batters after Rondon got Rick Ankiel to fly out to start the ninth, but he settled down to get an inning-ending double play to limit the damage.

Another reliever battling forNewcastle United pair Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow have reportedly been snapped in a in a street fight.The — Lilian Chan (@bestgug) JulyManchester United attacker Alexis Sanchez.Alexis is joining former United teammate Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan.”Sanchez has been there before so he will adjust to that really well. Obviously Lukaku is a big, strong player and is different to what th 18, 2019 a look as the team’s closer, Joaquin Benoit, pitched a perfect eighth inning, recording one strikeout.

um Hulme is attracting Premier League interest.The

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MLB.com reports outfielder , who has yet to appear in a spring game because of lingering probponed their upcoming Under-23s game against Swansea City.The Red Devils’ youngsters were set to play ll lead Juve against Lazio in the Supercoppa on Sunday in Riyadh.“I am starting to genuinely enjoy myself in our training sessions,” said the coach in his press conference.“If I do that, it’s because the team is playing or at least trying to playagainst the Swans in Premier ed Exequiel Palacios could yet be moving to Real Madrid next month.Palacios was all set to join Real a year ago, only for a knee injury to wreck his plans.The youngster is expected to join Bayer Leverkusen in January, however Gallardo dropped Real’s League 2 on Friday.But the game is now postponed for a later date.The issue is due to the visitors Swansea having an illlems with his knee, will play the field in a minor-league game Wednesday.

Led by Red Sox’s Bradley Jr., players making big progress this spring

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is a rising star that looks terrific in camp this spring. (Getty Images)

BRADENTON, Fla. – Jackie Bradley Jr. was a non-roster prospect when he got to camp, albeit a very good non-roster prospect, with what was said to be absolutely no chance to make the Red Sox team.

Now, at least, he’s in the conversation.

starting the year on the disabled list (foot) is one factor improving Bradley’s chances. But the bigger factor is the center fielder’s play, which has been nothing short of spectacular.

“I’m just trying to be a tough out, to work the counts and make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches,” the friendly, easygoing Bradley said here Monday after going one for three with a walk.

Red Sox people, who earlier were saying “no chance” to start the season in the majors, now are at least thinking about it. He is batting .436 with a .556 on-base percentage, and looking good against major-league pitching.

“I don’t see how he couldn’t be on the team? He’s been their best player all spring,” one American League scout said. (He suggests Bradley in left, with Jonny Gomez as the DH.)

“He’s their second best outfielder,’’ another scout said, meaning behind only

Lack of experience (271 total at-bats as high as Double-A) remains the issue. But it sounds like Red Sox manager John Farrell is at least thinking about it.

“For a young kid, he’s pretty polished,” Farrell said. “He has a consistent approach at the plate, and defensively, he’s very good.”

Farrell, asked directly about whether Bradley will make the team, said, “We have 10 days for [the situation] to come to a head.”

Bradley was asked if he thought he had a chance. ‘I don’t know,” he said. “I’m here. And I’m enjoying it while I’m here. I’m excited to be able to play baseball … at the next level.”

Bradley, who played in college at South Carolina and is only 22, has impressed the club with his serious approach. That goes for even the way he shags flies. His routes are impeccable, in practice and in games.

But with only a few months of experience at Double-A, management wasn’t expecting the left-handed hitter to hit like this. 

Farrell said, “He’s hit good pitching, and he’s hit left-handed pitching.”

And he might make the team, out of left field.

Here’s the complete list:

After some fits and starts, he looks like the major power threat again. The tried to pry him for Alfonso Soriano this winter. No way is that happening now. “If he carries this over, he’s every bit the player they thought he was,” one scout said.

The stat guys who love him may see him rise to star status this year. Looked terrific in Giants camp, as he’s finally turning on more balls. Has four homers, 11 RBI and a .404 batting average.

He’s been sent down but he was so impressive in spring scouts were suggesting he might even be a better choice as the fifth starter than the Cardinals’ two very good candidates, and . He has hit 97 mph and has a dynamic change-up and better breaking ball than advertised. said he showed three above average pitches. “Plus, he’s a good kid,” Holliday said. Looks like the Cardinals hit the jackpot with the big right-hander outo the team before the end of this season.Klose was feared to have missed the entire campaign due to a knee injury that he suffered at the start of the season.But the 31-year-old has a chance of being back before the run in, which would greatly improv of Texas A&M, their first-round pick in 2012.

Like Wacha, he as a first-rounder in the 2012 draft, so he has only 15 professional innings under his belt. And like Wacha, he looks like a star in the making. “Electric” one scout says of his stuff. He is throwing in the mid-to-high 90s, and his breaking ball was getting better reviews than at LSU. Also, he throws across his body a bit like , so the ball is hard for batters to pick up. “With him and Dylan Bundy [the first-rounder the year before], they are going to be tough for years,’”one scout said.

He was throwing 97 to 98 mph and wowing them on the west coast of Florida. Rubby De La Rosa, the other prospects received in the big deal with the , is also getting good reviews. “That’s one heck of a trade,” noted a scout. Not to mention the fact they excised $260 million in player salaries.

He looks primed to make the jump from Double-A to replace (and ) in center field. He had a three-homer game that drew attention, but within that game, what really impressed folks was a single on a tough pitch in his last at-bat. will make the team, but only as a backup.

He’s squaring up almost everything. He has three homers, 11 RBI and a .310 batting average. He’ll probably squeeze onto a stacked Cardinals roster, but the , for one, could really use him. The lefty swinger would be a monster power source at Yankee Stadium.

He’s made the transition seamlessly, from third base to second, and should give the Padres needed extra offense.

The former No. 1 overall pick was sent out today, much to his disappointment. “He’s awesome,” catcher said. “He’s a smart kid who makes adjustments and is unafraid. He has a power fastball and a power changeup. He has a slider that’s in the works, and a curve in the works. He really fills up the strike zone.” He was throwing 92 to 96 and occasionally touching 97. “Good stuff,’’ one scout summarized. He’ll be in the majors sometime soon.

He’s being tried in the No. 2 hole, between superstars and , and he seems to be enjoying it. Batting .500 exactly (20 for 40). Two words of small caution: Nobody has better hitting conditions (in Tempe, and between Trout and Pujols), and he has a history of big spring.

Some scoffed when the Dodgers gave this rarely-seen Cuban $42 million. But it looks like it might be a steal along the lines of the deal ($36 million, four years) now. Hitting .452 over at Camelback Ranch with Dodgers.

He was sent out after a homer streak. Has to be one of the very best prospects in baseball. Cubs are stacked at shortstop.

Good thing they made room for this guy. He’s going to give the D-Backs a great speed dimension, though his one negative this spring is being thrown out on four of six steal attempts. Batting .458. He’s been “even better” than his stats raves a D-backs official.

The highly-touted LSU product is “finally healthy and made some adjustments with his setup.” Looks ready for the prime time. Hitting .387 in the desert. Another Sox outfield prospect Trayce Thompson, son of basketballer Mychal Thompson, is a great defender with an “improving bat.”

The free swinger is batting .359 as he tries to lock down the center-field job. Even better, he has five walks and a .422 on-base percentage.

Miami has three terrific minor-leaguer outfielders, including also Jake Marisnick (5 of 11 before suffering a broken hand being hit by a pitch) and Marcell Osuna, and if they’re all in the same outfield that’d be something. Yelich hit up a storm in Jupiter.

He had a huge spring, and appears to be a slight favorite to win the 2B job over . He looked serviceable defensively but the real selling point is that he should hit a ton for a second baseman.  Hitting .410 this spring.

Looks like the money ($75.2 million, five years) hasn’t gone to his head. He and his brother Justin are thriving together in Braves camp so far. Especially Justin, who’s hitting .408.

He came to camp without a job but it appears he’ll either start at second base (if isn’t back yet) or in the outfield, and appears to be penciled in as the Mets’ leadoff hitter.  He’s shown big power in spring.

Maurer, a mid-round draft choice, could crack th Inter Milan proved themselves short of the Bianconeri on Sunday.Juve took a grip of the Scudetto race with victory against the Nerazzurri.“Inter did well in first half, kept their ground with personality,” Lippi told Radio Anch’io Sport. “But the rotation. No less than identified him early on as the young Mariners prospect most ready to pitch in the bigs.

He has a chance to make the team, thanks partly to being out until at least mid-April while recovering from shoulder surgery. He’s hitting .378 and has big-time pop. A great story, he was out of the game a couple years. Ready to emerge.

Terrific all-around talent provides hope for future, and could lead to finding himself on the trade market. “He’s a real good looking middle infielder with a chance to hit,’’ one scout said.

He’s 15 for 39, and better still, with only five strikeouts. The two questions surrounding this “toolsy’’ play are his ability 1) stay health, and 2) avoid strikeouts. So far he’s doing both.

 A terrific defender, he’s hitting up a storm in the desert. Took a step back last year, but now looks ready to bloom. He’s slowed a bit after a hot start but still has a 1.069 OPS.

He’s banging the ball so well he was considered to be added to Team USA. Could be primed for a breakout season after second-half falloff last year. Hitting .415.

The lefty hitter is wowing scouts in Cardinals camp. They don’t need him … yet, anyway.

If he’s on the trading block, somebody better pony up quite a bit. He has 18 strikeouts and only two walks.

He’ll get the Opening Day start due to ’s slow spring, but he earned it. He’s 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA and a nice changeup has complemented his bread-and-butter curveball.

 Highton & Hove Albion.The 22-year-old joins the League One side on a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.Barclay began his career at Manchester City before moving to Brighton and had a loan spell at Notts County last term.”It’e’s been simply dominating for Boston, which needs a comeback year, from him and the team. He’s 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. is 2-0 with a 0.00 after an early hamstring strain.

 He’s made the adjustment from a 97-mph thrower with little-to-no command to a pitcher who works at 91-94. Has 25 Ks and just six walks in 20 innings.

They need him to get his swing back with Yasmani Grandal missing 50 games due to his PED suspension, and he has done that. Batting .457 in Peoria.

 Some worry that his nice September might be a mirage, but at least he’s carried it into February and March. The Mariners having been hitting like crazy in Arizona. (Trade pickup has five homers.)

 He was drawing raves as an all-around player in Mesa, not just a power threat. The Cubs are doing a nice job building for the future.

 Kansas City has looked very good this spring, and Gordon is one reason. His big second half suggests he may be ready to become a bona fide star. Like Kendrick, he’s 20 for 40 this spring.

He’s returned from a bad bout with Desert Fever and looks like he has a chance to regain his career. Has chance to make team. Nice story. (Last year’s nice story, Lew Ford, is hitting .483 this spring.)

Big arm. He impressed scouts early but had a rough one late. “Not quite ready,’’ said a scout.

 He looks ready to break out. Could be a nice year in K.C.

 No surprise, the Rays’ young pitchers look good. Cobb has 23 strikeouts and just two walks. Chris Archer was shipped out with a 0.00 ERA.

The two second-year players are showing no signs of letting up. Trout looks like he might duplicate what he did last year (.408 this spring), and Harper should take a big step forward. He’s hitting a point higher at .409 with three homers and eight RBI.

ss Dean Smith would not be drawn on his interest i

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MLB.com reports manager Davey Johnson on Thursday continued to avoid the question about who will be his opening day catcher — or ? 

“I’m going to be smart whicheayers are ready for the start of the campaign after a tough preseason.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino likened the pre-season schedule to the Champions League and having faced Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Inter provide thver way I go,” Johnson said. “I’m not concerned with that. It’s the least of my worries.”

Johnson said he wants to see how Ramos, who is coming off a torn ACL last season, handles catching on consecutive days.

“He has done everything every catYosuke Ideguchi has returned to Gamba Osaka after a disappointing spell with Leeds United.The Japan international joined Leeds from the J-League ouster City youngster Brandon Barker is wanted by Celtic.The Celtic-line-cut-price-deal-Manchester-City-winger-Brandon-Barker.html”>Daily MailCeltic-line-cut-price-deal-Manchester-City-winger-Brandon-Barker.html”> says Celtic are lining up a cut-price tfit in January 2018.But he failed to make a first team appearance for the club.Ideguchi spent time on loan at Cultural Leonesa and SpVgg Greuther Fürth.cher has done,” Johnson said.

eyond the January market.The Germany defender’s ag

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Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said outfielder underwent an MRI on his ailing neck Monday afternoon, but the results are not expected to be revealed until Tuesday at the earliest, .com reports. Markakis was pulled from the starting lr Steven Bergwijn admits he’s happy winchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Vincent Kompany is sure to return in the future to take charge.Kompany has called time on his illustrious 11-year spell at City to return to his first club Anderlecht, in his native Belgium, as player-manager.”I th interest from Manchester United.The Holland international has been linked with a move to United this summer.And he told Voetbalzone: “Manchester United is certainly a great club. “I’m only 21 years old and I’mineup March 3 because of lingering neck spasms and has not played since. He said Sunday he thinks the MRI is “probably more of a precaution to see what’s going on in there and identify exactly what it is that’s bothering me.” Markakis had three surgeries last year and missed the entire poero Emmanuel Frimpong says they should move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.Frimpong believes the towering centre-back would make a big impact on Unai Emery’s side.“I watched the game against Watford and it wasn’t good. Our defence is certainstseason with a broken thumb.

Angels using a ‘designated runner’ for Albert Pujols in camp

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Not quite sure how this has slipped under the radar until now, but:

use courtesy runner for Albert Pujols after he singles in first inning against RHP Luke Hochevar. Hey, iInter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has quickly been impressed by new teammate Romelu Lukaku.Lukaku has hit the ground running since his summer arrival from Manchester United. “He immediately adapted to the Coach’s ideas and the team’s style of play,” the 22-year-old told TyC Sports.“He’s a striker with incredible characteristics, he’s very powerful. “I was surprised by his sheer stature.”t’s spring training.

— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report)

The had also given permission to Albert Pujols to use a designated runner if he reached base in their game earlier in week.

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale)

Ah the joys of spring training.

,m midfielder Harry Winks.The Mirror says Solskjaer is looking to reshape his squad in the close season and Winks, 24, is exactly the profile of player he wants to bring in to Old Trafford.The player’s ability and age fits the bill for Solskjaer as he 33, is coming back from offseason right-knee surgery. He returned to the lineup and is limited to DH duties at the moment, but the expect him to play first base toward the end of camp. Until then, designated rund.It marked the club’s first ever Premier League triumph at Old Trafford.Burnley goalscorer Jay Rodriguez said: “This result means everything. We worked hard and we showed quality. We stuck at it. Coming here, it is always one of the places you want ners abound.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

When Dodgers could spend, Hanley and Adrian were at top of their list

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s easy to think that once the became baseball’s big spenders, they simply took on every big contract they could find.They sort of did, but not exactly.They did add some huge contracts during last season and again over the winter. They shocked the Marlins by agreeing to take on every last cent remaining in the July trade for , and no doubt surprised some people in Boston by picking up the , and contracts, as well.But as it turns out, Ramirez and Gonzalez were the two players the Dodgers had targeted, right from the moment the rich new owners took over last April.By June, they were already calling the Marlins about Ramirez, only to find out that the Marlins considered it a bit too early to pull the plug on their expensive experiment gone bad. The Marlins loved the idea of dumping Ramirez, but felt that doing it so early would send the wrong message (not that they a roadside ditch. The former England international was driving home from football when he became concerned about the gentlemen walking down the road.He reversed back to check if everything was okay, where he found the man had fallen in the ditch. Fosworried much about messages they sent later).By the end of July, the Dodgers had Ramirez. The A’s were trying to get him at the same time (and nearly did), but the A’s were only willing to assume half of the remaining contract (more than $35 million, throug to form.The Frenchman has struggled in recent weeks after initially thriving under Solskjaer’s leadership.Speaking ahead of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he wasn’t playing media games regarding David de Gea’s fitness.De Gea came off with a muscle abductor problem in Spain’s European qualifier in Sweden on Tuesday and Solskjaer indicated on Wednesday he was out of the Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield, Solskjaer said: “Anthony [Martial] has got loads of goals in him.”It’s up to us now to move h 2014), while the Dodgers took all of it.While the Ramirez trade was being completed, the Dodgers were already trying hard to get Gonzalez. That deal wouldn’t be finished until late August, and would include Crawford and Beckett, too.But Ramirez and Gonzalez had been the initial targets. The Dodgers obviously had an idea both could be available, but they also believed both would fill huge needs, needs that would be difficult to fill on the free-agent market.”Look at the first baseman who were out there last winter,” one Dodgers person explained. “Did you want to end up with Casey Kotchman?”The Dodgers knew they needed to upgrade at first. They knew they wanted an established shortstop, and they knew the free-agent market would be woefully short on those, too.They targeted Ramirez early, and they targeted Gonzalez, too.By the end of the year, they ended up with both.

And while the trades didn’t bring immediate results — the Dodgers went just 18-18 with Gonzalez in the lineup, and just 33-31 with Ramirez — the Dodgers are convinced that eventually, it will all work.”I don’t think that it had enough time last year to work,” right fielder said. “But it seemed to blend as time went on.’

inished business” in the Premier League.The strike

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Rays outfield prospect went 2 for 3 with a pair of singles during Tampa Bay’s 7-2 win over Houston in Grapefruit League action Tuesday. Myers, hailed as the No. 4 overall prospect in the minors by .com, slotted sixth in the batting order and recorded his first multihit outing of the spring. Through his first threeheffield United boss Chris Wilder says Jack Rodwell must work his way into their first team plans.Wilder says new signing Jack Robinson and Rodwell will not simply be handed appearances for Sheffiellderweireld insists there’s no reason for concern after a sluggish start to the season.Spurs have managed just the one win from the season so far.“We had one very bad result against Newcastle but two very difficult away games as well – we got twod United this weekend in the FA Cup adolid.The coach has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2022.Sergio, whose original deal was set to expire at the end of this season, arrived at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla in April 2018 and has overseen a promotion to LaLagainst Millwall exhibition games, Myers has notched a .429 batting average with a double and one RBI.

ea’s interest in Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malino

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Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said MonUnited want an answer by Monday evening from Paulo Dybala about a move from Juventus.Corriere dello Sport says the Argentine must decide by Monday where his future lies, with a potential switch to Old Trafford one the United from Peter Kenyon includes highlighting manager Steve Bruce’s ‘European record’.The Sun reports former Manchester United and Chelsea chief Kenyon has been working with American firm GACP Sports – who also own Ligue 1 club Bordeaux – on a £3at involves Romelu Lukaku heading day pitcher ‘s MRI shows a mild strain where his lat and oblique meet on the left side of his body. Hoyer said Garza will rest a week to make sure he is pain-free. “What it means for the regular season, it’s too early to say. But reaalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for their shock 3-1 win.He explained that Paco López had placed particular emphasis on Ter Stegen in his pre-match planning.“I knew exactly what I had to do,” the 26-year-old said. “We had been watching videos of hlly, it’s good news,” Hoyer said.

Phillies’ Halladay says he feels great, but can he be great again?

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(US Presswire)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The speak glowingly about what once was. They speak hopefully about what Roy Halladay could still be.

They don’t know, not yet.

They can’t know, no matter how good he says he feels this spring.

They can only listen to him talk about how good he feels, thanks to a new workout program designed to address a lower-back issue he now blames for derailing his 2012 season.

“I feel as good now as I have in any spring training,” Halladay said Wednesday.

The Phillies will take that as a positive, just as they’ll take encouragement from the way and have looked in the early days of spring. While the key Phillies questions don’t yet have definitive answers, the early signs are good.

That seems especially true for Howard and Utley, so much so that manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday, “I always felt like both of them would come back and have big years.”

The Phillies need that, but they also need Halladay. Manuel talks about getting 50-60 wins from the trio of Halladay, and .

More on PhilliesStories |

Before last year, they would have taken Halladay’s share of those wins for granted. He won 40 games in his first two seasons with the Phillies, and he averaged 17 wins a year in his last four seasons with the Blue Jays.

He was at leasadrid sports director Pedja Mijatovic says Gareth Bale will be hurting hlex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed how Jordan Henderson shuts down any talk of Liverpool winning the Premier League table.The Reds have all but secured their first top crown in 30 years as they hold a 22-point lead over Manchester City.But Oxlade-Chis career by staying.Bale remains a Real player after the Premier League transfer window closed yesterday.Mijatovic told El Larguero: “If he stays, Madrid is not going to have prt in the argument for best pitcher in the game, and he deserved to be called the most dependable.

“He was something,” Manuel said. “He was absolutely unreal.”

Then Manuel paused.

“He’s thrown a lot of bullets.”

Those bullets weren’t coming in as hard last year, and they weren’t nearly as effective. Halladay still insists velocity was and is less of an issue than his ability to locate, but you can count on the Phillies carefully watching for both when Halladay takes the mound for his spring training starts.

Manuel said the Phillies plan to take it a little slower than usual, that Halladay might well throw just one inning and 25 pitches in his first spring start.

“I think he’s going to be fine, really,” Manuel said. “I think it’s going to take time, but I think he’s going to get there.”

If you sense a touch of uncertainty in those words, you’re probably right. Halladay is 35 now and will turn 36 in May. Even without the shock of last year, we’d be wondering how long he could keep pitching at the level he had.

You sense him wondering it, too, even as he talks about how good he feels, about how much the new workout program has helped and about how he still wants to throw tons of pitches and tons of innings.

He knows he’s nearer to the end than to the beginning, no matter how well he does this year.

“Every year you go in, you realize you’re a little older, a little slower,” Halladay said. “The game’s getting quicker. The guys are getting younger.”

The Phillies aren’t young, but they still have more talent than manyutch great Wim Kieft has warned Tottenham fans not to get carried away with new signing Steven Bergwijn.The purchase from PSV Eindhoven scored on debut in victory over Manchester City last week.But Kieft argued in De Telegraaf: “Bergwijn is just 22 give them credit for. The question marks are big ones, but the ceiling remains high for a team just one season removed from 102 wins.

The goals are still high, too, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Halladay spoke of winning a World Series.

“If it takes 320 innings and I can throw that many, I’m going to throw it,” he said.

The guaranteed part of his contract only runs through this year, and not surprisingly, he said there have been no discussions yet about extending it. Halladay said he doesn’t see himself ever pitching for another team, but how this year goes will no doubt help determine how long the Phillies can see him pitching for them.

They saw last year what happened with a sub-par Halladay, a Halladay whose spring training struggles raised alarms and whose regular-season struggles never really calmed them. The lower back was the problem, he came to believe by the end of the season, and it was the problem that led to everything else.

“It seemed like the more I threw, the more of a problem it became,” he said.

So the legendary workout program underwent a total change, with more emphasis on strengthening the core and on what Halladay called “sport-specific” training.

“We’re not running at 4 in the morning,” rotation-mate and workout-mate said.

Halladay still starts early, maybe at 5:30 or 6 a.m. He still works hard.

“I saw him, and he was completely drenched,” Manuel said.

But devotion to work was never a problem for Halladay.

What the Phillies are hoping is that years of heavy workloads and advancing age aren’t problems that Halladay can’t overcome this year.

They don’t know that yet. They can’t know that yet.

They can only listen to Halladay talk about how good he feels, watch, and see that bullpen sessions like the one on Wednesday morning aren’t a problem, and then hope.

“I think we really need him to be good,” Manuel said. “Don’t get me wrong. He doesn’t have to pitch no-hitters.”

The Phillies remember when they could expect Halladay to do just that. It’s not that long ago.

He was absolutely unreal, as Manuel said.

Healthy or not, can he ever be like that again?

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MLB.com reports Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington expects DH (Achilles) to be ready for opening day after meeting with the veteran slugger in the Dominican Rrom Barcelona.Reports claimed that the La Liga champions are planning a £70million swoop for the striker this summer.It has been suggested that the Catalan side could offer Arsenal both Andre Gomes and Samuel Umtiti to tempt Unai Emery into acceptinepublic last week. However, Cherington wasn’t sure what Ortiz’s status would be at the begi stunned at an angry tirade from Charlie Austin about manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.Austin, 30, unleashed a dressing room tirade about Hasenhuttl after he learned he was not going on the club’s pre-season tour.He is training with the under-23 players as tnning of spring training. “He’s hitting and doing his agility and starting to run,” Cherington said Monday in an inrez was delighted to feature in victory over Real Betis.The 5-2 win marked Perez’s home debut.“I am very happy to be able to help the team and for everything that is happening. Debuting at Camp Nou is always very special for someone from the house terview with Network Radio. “He’s . We’ll see where he is as we report 10 days from now or so and take it from there. We don’t have any reason to think he won’t be in our lineup on opening day.”