Change of plans? Yankees to activate Phil Hughes, start him Saturday

Change of plans? Yankees to activate Phil Hughes, start him Saturday

Phil Hughes was scheduled to make a rehab start Saturday after opening the season on the disabled list with a bulging disc in his back, but the Yankees announced after Friday’s game that he’ll be activated to start against the Tigers instead. David Phelps will return to the pen to make room for Hughes in…

Gruden: Norman signing played in to Redskins going offense in first round

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Gruden: Norman signing played in to Redskins going offense in first round

Everyone knows that if the Redskins are going to make progress they are going to need to improve their defense, which ranked 28th in the NFL last year. They took a big step towards doing that when they signed All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman last week. That gave them some flexibility to go after the other side of the ball in the first round on Thursday, when they took wide receiver Josh Doctson with the 22nd pick in the draft.

“There’s arguments there – you could take defense, but, you know, like I said before we took the best player,” Gruden told the media shortly after the Doctson pick was made. “We addressed defense the other day with Josh Norman. We gave them [the defense] a first-round pick, so they should be happy [laughter]. It’s about building a football team and taking the best players to help us and we thought Josh was a perfect fit.”

We’ll never know if the Redskins would have used that first-round pick on a cornerback or on another defensive position if the Panthers had not rescinded the franchise tag on Norman, leading to a whirlwind 48 hours that ended with him signing a five-year, $75 million deal with the Redskins. If you believe Gruden, it made the decision to go with an offensive weapon was made easier by the move.

“It played into it a little bit, getting Josh Norman the other day,” he said. “Obviously it helped with the defensive back depth. I don’t know if it would’ve matter, really, because like I said before we’re going to take the best player on the board and he was clearly up there. We’re happy to get him.”

Still, the needs on defense remain. Gruden is confident that they can be addressed later in the draft. The draft is said to be particularly deep along the defensive line, which is near the top of their needs list.

“Yeah, you look into all that – depth of other positions on defense,” he said. “It is a good draft for that. We’ll address other positions obviously later, I don’t know which ones yet, we’ll see who’s available. But, it is a very deep draft at a lot of positions for that matter. We feel like we can still add to this roster and get some quality players – second, third, fourth, fifth rounds.”

That last part is something that many fans tend to forget. There are six more rounds and there are plenty of good players left on the board. The first-round pick is very important but the rest of the draft is where Scot McCloughan earns his money and his reputation. Fans should wait until the whole picture is painted before evaluating it.

Orioles try for three straight wins behind Mike Wright

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Orioles try for three straight wins behind Mike Wright

Tonight's Game: Chicago White Sox (16-7) vs. Baltimore Orioles (13-8), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. 

Starting pitchers: Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.05) vs. Mike Wright (1-2, 6.23)

Keys to the Game:

Can the Orioles make it three straight? They haven't won more than two straight since the start of the season.

Can Wright deliver a solid start? In his best one, he lost allowing three runs on six hits to Toronto on Apr. 19.

News and Notes:

Wright beat the White Sox on May 28, 2015, allowing three runs on five hits. 

Today is the one-year anniversary of the game with no fans.

Current Orioles are 2-for-17 (.118) against Rodon. 

In the season's first 21 games, the Orioles have scored 10 or more runs twice. Last year, their second 10-run or more game didn't come until their 60th. 

Ravens tried trading up for Jalen Ramsey, Cowboys said no

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Ravens tried trading up for Jalen Ramsey, Cowboys said no

Ronnie Stanley was the Ravens’ choice, but they were chasing Jalen Ramsey.

The Ravens tried trading up to No. 4 with the Cowboys in Round 1 to take defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Florida St., an NFL source said, confirming an ESPN report. In return, the Ravens were offering the sixth pick and one of their fourth-round picks.

However, the Cowboys had trepidation about trading down to No. 6, afraid that another team might trade up to No. 5 and take running back Ezekiel Elliott. So the Cowboys stayed put at No. 4 and took Elliott, the Jaguars took Ramsey at No. 5, while the Ravens opted for Stanley at No. 6 over Oregon defensive end DeForest Bucker, who the 49ers took at No. 7.

Asked whether he had conversations about moving up in Round 1, Ravens general manger Ozzie Newsome said, “We had some conversation in the room, and I would say we talked to a team.”

Ramsey’s ability to play both safety and corner, along with his physicality, could have dramatically changed the look of the Ravens’ secondary. But getting Ramsey was always going to be difficult for the Ravens.

With that door now closed, it would not be surprising to see the Ravens take a cornerback with their early second-round pick (No. 36 overall) Friday night.

Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Cyrus Jones of Alabama, and Xavien Howard of Baylor are among top corners still on the board.