Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic


Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic

Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
1:08 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
A day after revealing he suffers from stomach ulcers, newly-named All-Star Game starter Derrick Rose will try to play in Friday nights Bulls home game against fellow Eastern Conference contender Orlando.

Ill have to see when I get down there to the United Center. More than likely, I am going to play, said Rose after Fridays shootaround at the Berto Center. This is the game that I love. I should be able to play. Im going to try my hardest, but well have to see.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau indicated whether or not Rose plays would be a game-time decision.

Well see how he is tonight, Thibodeau explained. I want him to go through his normal routine tonight and then, when he goes through it, if he feels like he has the energy to play, then he plays. If he doesnt, then he sits and backup point guard C.J. Watson starts.

If his energy is good, then he goes. But if its not good, then he wont go, continued Thibodeau, who added Rose got through the whole shootaround and that the abbreviated game-day practice had a good pace.

Rose elaborated on his current state of health since his diagnosis.

I can eat portions of things, but I havent had a whole meal in three or four days, explained Rose, who is taking medication for his health issues. The only thing Ive been drinking is probably shakes and smoothies."

I havent gotten on the scale yet, but I probably have lost weight, continued Rose, who added that he weighed in at 213 pounds before the condition cropped up. Im just waiting for it to heal right now.

I really cant complain right now. Were winning. Everythings going great right now. This is just something Ive got to fight through.

The Bulls point guard also discussed his selection as an Eastern Conference starting guard in next months NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Its great, knowing that everything is going my way right now. I feel blessed. If it wasnt for my fans, the organization, adidas, everybody playing a big role, I wouldnt have got that spot, said Rose, the Bulls first All-Star Game starter since Michael Jordan in 1998. I love L.A. The crowd there is going to be crazy, playing with a great bunch of guys, just out there having fun, the only thing that changes is Im going to be a starter.

It wont surprise anyone whos observed him closely that he wasnt overenthusiastic when he heard the news Thursday night.

Regular. It wasnt like a celebration or anything, Rose recalled about his reaction to the announcement, as he spent a quiet evening at home with friends and family. I just wasnt into it like that. Thats just really not me.

Rose found out when they Roses mother and friends came in the roomthey were in the living room, watching itI was in my room.

Rose did acknowledgein his own waythat he was deserving of the honor and excited about the upcoming event.

Ive been playing well. My confidence is very high right now, said Rose. Last year, I didnt start, but it was a good experience.

Still, he refused to classify himself among the NBAs elite players.

Not yet, Rose repeated three times. Ive still got a long way to go.

Added Thibodeau: Its great. Were happy for him, but were also concerned about what we have to do tonight. Thats a priority for us.

Business as usual.

Aggrey Sam is's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Miguel Montero heating up brings a dynamic presence to Cubs lineup


Miguel Montero heating up brings a dynamic presence to Cubs lineup

With all the talk about the Cubs boasting an AL East-style lineup, they've gotten this far offensively without much production from Miguel Montero.

The two-time All-Star catcher has a .762 career OPS, but has yet to really hit his stride at the plate after missing almost three weeks with a back injury.

Montero has an .873 OPS since returning from the back ailment in mid-May and sports a .350/.458/.600 slash line in his last seven games, including a homer his first time up Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Montero's big weekend helped raise his season OPS to .732 and showed how he can give this Cubs lineup a dynamic look when he's on his game.

"That really lengthens the lineup," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The other team has to definitely respect that after hitting behind [Ben] Zobrist made Zobrist a better hitter, especially when [Montero] hits a home run the first time at the plate.

"He's gonna do that. He's gonna hit home runs. I like that he's gotten his hits to the left-field side; he's gonna hit home runs to the left-field side here, also."

Maddon talked up Montero's receiving skills behind the plate and actually feels the veteran catcher is essentially at the latter end of spring training in terms of his swing thanks to that back injury.

The Cubs are currently carrying three catchers on their roster and can afford to be conservative with Montero's playing time, especially with David Ross (.828 OPS) discovering the Fountain of Youth. 

But Montero returning to form consistently could be a huge boost to a lineup that already features four likely 2016 All-Stars in Zobrist, Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

White Sox can't score for Jose Quintana, fall 1-0 to lose seventh straight


White Sox can't score for Jose Quintana, fall 1-0 to lose seventh straight

NEW YORK -- The White Sox played for a run late in Monday’s contest and the strategy backfired.

Looking to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, the White Sox called for a bunt with No. 3 hitter Melky Cabrera at bat with two on and none out. Cabrera executed the bunt perfectly, but surrendering the extra out proved costly as New York Mets starter Matt Harvey retired Todd Frazier and J.B. Shuck in order to strand the runners.

Half an inning later, Neil Walker homered off Jose Quintana and the Mets sent the White Sox to their seventh straight loss with a 1-0 defeat in front of 38,339 at Citi Field. Quintana lost for the fifth time in 10 decisions despite limiting New York to a run and six hits in seven innings. The White Sox have lost 15 of 19 and are now only sit two games above .500.

“I think (bunting is) the right choice,” Frazier said. “I’m there to get RBIs. A lot of people complain he’s bunting. No. I’m the 3-4 hitter. I’m supposed to get those runs in. He did his job, got the guys over.

“You got an opportunity to get runs in with less than two outs put the ball on the ground or hit it as deep as you can. On my end, it’s frustrating when you get pitches to hit and don’t do nothing with them.”

Harvey didn’t resemble the guy who recently has faced scrutiny about whether or not he deserves to be in the major leagues. Working with a mid-to-high 90s fastball he located well, you’d have been hard pressed to believe you were watching a pitcher who brought a 6.08 ERA into the contest.

But Harvey finally looked as if he might crack in the seventh inning.

The right-hander has struggled all season in his third trip through the order as opponents have a 1.326 OPS during that round of plate appearances. That’s compared with a .666 OPS in the first pass and an .844 in the second round.

Adam Eaton got the third trip through started nicely with an eight-pitch walk and Jose Abreu jumped on a first-pitch fastball to single to left to put two on for Cabrera, who was at that point 0-for-2.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura called for a sac bunt and Cabrera squared on a first-pitch ball. Two pitches later, Cabrera pushed the pair into scoring position. But the play also took the bat out of Cabrera’s hands.

Harvey then needed only three pitches to induce a foul pop out off Frazier’s bat and Shuck grounded out to eliminate the threat.

“With the way both guys were pitching, you figured one run was going to do it, so you’re trying to get him in scoring position,” Ventura said. “You’re able to get a guy in scoring position and get one at first, and if you get two, you’re looking good.

“(Frazier) knows what to do in that situation, but he just popped it up. He was trying to either hit something in the air or hit a ground ball and get that run. But it’s tough going right now.”

It didn’t get any easier as Walker led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer to left to put the Mets ahead for good. That’s essentially how it has gone for the White Sox in this spell. Of their 15 losses, two have come by two or fewer runs.

“It ran a little bit to the middle,” Quintana said. “I tried to go away.

“He was looking for a fastball, and he’s a pretty good hitter, and that’s a mistake for me.”

Mets relievers Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia set down the final six White Sox in order to hand Quintana another loss he didn’t deserve.

The left-hander made it clear early on he was up to the challenge against Harvey. With his team in need of another big start, Quintana struck out the side in the second inning and four straight overall.

He pitched out of trouble in the fourth inning with a double play and limited the Mets’ chances until the seventh. Even after the Walker homer, Quintana -- who struck out seven -- pitched out of another jam, stranding two to keep the White Sox within striking distance.

But those efforts went unrewarded once again. Frazier said he should shoulder the blame, not Ventura.

“There’s no way, it’s me,” Frazier said. “Put the ball in play and stop popping the ball up. Find a way to get it on the ground, hit it as far as you can. I got a fastball to hit, I got two of them. You don’t get that often, especially with a guy like Harvey throwing.

“He missed his spot and I missed my swing. So that’s on me.”

J.B. Shuck: White Sox prospect Tim Anderson doesn't 'get rattled by anything'


J.B. Shuck: White Sox prospect Tim Anderson doesn't 'get rattled by anything'

NEW YORK — J.B. Shuck is very impressed with the play of White Sox prospect Tim Anderson.

Recalled Monday from Triple-A Charlotte, Shuck said he thinks Anderson could handle a promotion to the big leagues if the White Sox were to make the call.

At Charlotte for almost six weeks, Shuck had plenty of time to watch the young shortstop play. He thinks Anderson, who is hitting .305/.332/.397 with 11 extra-base hits and 10 steals in 209 plate appearances, wouldn’t scare were he to go in a slump.

“He could come up and do well,” Shuck said. “He has that personality where he’s not going to get rattled by anything. I think he’ll do well when he gets his chance.”

The team’s top position player prospect, Anderson has been torrid since he started the season 9-for-53 with an RBI, 16 strikeouts and no walks. Shuck likes how Anderson handled himself during the stretch, continuing to go about his business until “it clicked.” Since then, Anderson is hitting .354 with three homers and has an .850 OPS in 156 plate appearances over 33 games.

“He went on a stretch where I don’t think he got out for like six games,” Shuck said. “That’s just his personality, and that’s why I think when he does get up here, he’s going to do well.”

Anderson’s production has become more noticeable as the White Sox have struggled to get production from their shortstops. Jimmy Rollins and Tyler Saladino have combined for a .617 OPS this season, which ranks 23rd out of the 30 teams in the majors.

But it’s not just Anderson’s bat that has caught Shuck’s attention.

“He’s athletic. He makes a ton of plays, and he looks good.

“It’s amazing. I’ve never played with him. You see him a little bit in Spring Training, but yeah, he just goes out and has fun and I think that’s why he does so well. He just goes up and hits. It’s amazing. I hope he continues, and he’s going to do well up here when he gets his chance.”