|Zaslal: st srpen 29, 2018 3:22 am Předmět: against the Reds
|Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard promised to be smart in free agency.
He declined to be swayed by splashy moves and refused to overspend 鈥?on his players or anyone else's.
Now Ballard is diving head first into the second wave of free agency. After signing tight end Eric Ebron on Monday Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , he added receiver Ryan Grant and offensive lineman Matt Slauson on Tuesday.
"I'm going to bring myself and everything that comes with me which is energy, fun, excitement and a will to win," Ebron said on a conference call Monday night. "Everything after that, you guys are going to have to see for yourself because I've learned a lesson not to talk about anything before it happens."
Ballard is sticking to his game plan.
He has repeatedly said he intends to build through the draft, develop players in-house and merely supplement the Colts' roster in free agency.
Even though he went into the offseason with more than $70 million to spend, he's remained frugal.
ESPN has reported that Ebron's deal is for two years and up to $15 million. Slauson signed a one-year deal worth $3 million, and Grant agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million after initially joining Baltimore 鈥?the Ravens cut him loose after he failed a physical. Grant injured his ankle in Week 17 and has been working his way back. He was surprised by the Ravens' decision.
"I can't control what they did. I can't control their assessment of my ankle," Grant said during a conference call. "I've gone other places, I've seen multiple doctors and I've passed physicals, so that should pretty much speak for itself."
The only other player Indianapolis has signed is defensive lineman Denico Autry, who signed a three-year deal worth $17.8 million.
All four fill needs, though.
Autry recorded a career-high five sacks with the Oakland Raiders last season and could help new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus create a more consistent pass rush. The Colts finished 31st in the NFL last year with 25 sacks.
Grant spent his first four seasons with the Washington Redskins and is expected to compete with Chester Rogers for the starting job opposite Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton following Donte Moncrief's departure. The 6-foot, 204-pound Grant produced his best season in 2017 鈥?45 receptions Authentic Avonte Maddox Jersey , 573 yards and four TDs.
Slauson has started 108 games since entering the league with the New York Jets in 2009. He was in Chicago when Ballard was working with the Bears, and Slauson played for new Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo with both the Jets and Chargers.
Ebron, the Detroit Lions' first-round pick in 2014, was released last week after developing a reputation for dropping passes. In Indianapolis, he'll have a chance to jump-start his career playing alongside Jack Doyle, who appeared in his first Pro Bowl last season, and Erik Swoope, a converted basketball player who climbed into the No. 2 spot on the Colts' depth chart.
The happiest guy might be Andrew Luck, who gets two new receivers and a potential upgrade along the line, which has been a major hole since Luck entered the league as the top overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Slauson has played both guard and center and is willing to do either with his new team.
Ballard's biggest offseason move was the trade he pulled off Saturday.
He swapped first-round picks with the Jets, giving up the No. 3 overall pick to get the No. 6 pick and two additional second-round picks this year and the Jets' second-round pick in 2019. That deal gives Indianapolis four picks in the top 50 this year and three picks in the first two rounds next year.
"We need to add some young talent to this roster," Ballard told the team's web site following the trade. "So the ability to tab seven guys in the next two years who are all first and second round picks over the next two years was attractive to us."
Sooner or later, the Cincinnati Reds will get the message: Be careful pitching to Eric Thames.
Reds right-hander Sal Romano, who opposes Thames and the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Great American Ball Park Broncos Game Jerseys , already knows the dangers of making a mistake to the power hitter who torments Cincinnati like no other.
Thames beat Romano and the Brewers 2-0 with a two-run home run on April 17. Not satisfied with that, Thames beat the Reds — and this time, Tyler Mahle — with yet another two-run home run in a 2-0 decision the very next day on April 18.
Flash forward to Thursday night, and the Reds — the NL’s hottest team coming in with nine wins in 10 games — are leading 4-2 with two out and two on in the seventh inning. Amir Garrett, especially tough on left-handed hitters, is on the mound. Yet Garrett gave Thames a too-good pitch to hit, and the result was a decisive three-run home run, and the Brewers went on to win 6-4.
“That was a huge hit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We were down two (runs) there and Garrett’s been really good. It was a good win. We had a lot of guys do a lot. We had big at-bats in big situations.”
Jesus Aguilar added a tying two-run homer, his 19th, off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani in the third inning after Cincinnati had gone ahead 2-0 in the first.
For Thames, it was his third consecutive game against Cincinnati with a game-winning homer and it also was his 13th homer, to go with 24 RBIs, in only 20 career games against the NL Central rival Reds. The three homers represent his only three hits against the Reds this season; overall Zack Martin Jersey , he’s hit only .234.
Thames hadn’t homered off a left-hander all season, although he had only 13 prior at-bats against lefties. However, he has handled Garrett, homering off him the last three times he’s faced him.
His numbers against the Reds the last two seasons are remarkable: 13 homers, including 10 homers and 17 RBIs in 17 games last season.
“Thames has really done damage against us, last year and this year,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We don’t have an answer for him. He’s really hurt us.”
As have the Brewers. They came in with six losses in their previous 10 games, but they’re off to a good start in the four-game series, especially given that the Reds had won 12 of their previous 15 despite being in last place. Milwaukee has won six of seven from Cincinnati this season.
The Reds not only haven’t solved how to beat the Brewers, neither has Romano (4-7). He’s pitched well in two of his last three starts overall, but he’s 0-4 with a 6.27 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers. Ryan Braun gives him trouble, going 5-of-10 (.500) with one homer against him.
The Brewers, who lead the Chicago Cubs by 2 1-2 games in the NL Central, will send out right-hander Chase Anderson (5-6) Cheap Vinny Curry Jersey , who has had success against the Reds. He’s 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA against them in eight starts, beating them 7-6 on May 1 despite giving up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
One reason for that success is Anderson’s ability to shut down some of the Reds’ top hitters. Eugenio Suarez, who leads the NL with 59 RBIs, is only 2-for-13 (.154) against him, and Scooter Gennett, who leads the league with a .331 average, is 2-for-7 (.286).
The Brewers lost center fielder Christian Yelich to lower back tightness in the first inning Thursday, and it’s been a problem he’s had in the past. His status for Friday and the rest of the series is uncertain.
“It looks like this one is not as bad,” said Yelich, who is hitting .289. “It’s frustrating. We’ll know more in a day or so. Hopefully, we can take care of it.”