More on new Cub Barret Loux


More on new Cub Barret Loux

The biggest news out of Tuesday was the Cubs designating Bryan LaHair for assignment, while the trade for Barret Loux flew under the radar a bit.

The Cubs dealt Jacob Brigham (acquired in the Geovany Soto trade in July) back to the Rangers, receiving Loux, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, in return as a sort of re-do on the Soto deal after Brigham was limited to just two appearances for the Cubs' Double-A affiliate in Tennessee. The Cubs will also receive a player to be named later.

Loux was drafted out of Stratford High School in Texas in 2007, going in the 24th round to the Detroit Tigers. He opted to attend Texas A & M instead, and was selected in the MLB Draft three years later, going sixth overall to the Diamondbacks in 2010.

The Houston native was bothered by shoulder and elbow problems and wound up a free agent, signing with the Rangers in November 2010.

Unlike Brigham, Loux appears to have regained his health, starting 46 games over the past two seasons. He's pitched well in those 236 innings, striking out 227 batters with a 22-6 record, 3.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

In response to the deal Tuesday, Baseball America crafted a blurb on the 6-foot-5 righty, shedding some light on Loux's free agent status two years ago as well as a scouting report on the young starter.

"Loux reached Double-A in 2012 and made all his starts without incident, showing a simple, repeatable delivery and an idea of how to pitch," John Manuel and Matt Eddy wrote. "He works downhill, sits 90-92 mph and commands his fastball to both sides of the plate, though neither his velocity nor his secondary pitches separate him from the pack.

"His average slider and curveball blend together, but most scouts like his changeup best and think he knows how and when to use it. He profiles as an innings-eating No. 5 type on a good team."

Loux may never become an ace at the big-league level, but he has first-round upside and isn't a bad get for an organization lacking in quality starting pitching prospects.

Curie senior Elijah Joiner commits to Tulsa


Curie senior Elijah Joiner commits to Tulsa

Curie senior guard Elijah Joiner ended his recruitment on Sunday by committing to Tulsa on Twitter.

The 6-foot-3 Joiner helped the Condors with the Class 4A state championship in Illinois last season as the combo guard averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Joiner shot 49 percent from the floor, 36 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free-throw line on the season.

Forming a dynamic duo with current DePaul freshman Devin Gage last season, Joiner was one of the toughest players to defend in the city. He committed to Tulsa during his official visit to campus this weekend.

"It felt like home and it was a great situation," Joiner said of Tulsa.

Without Gage this season, Joiner will be Curie's go-to player as the Condors will once again be a major threat for a city and state championship. Since Joiner can handle the ball and also play off of it, it'll be intriguing to see how head coach Mike Oliver uses his star in Curie's offense. 

Fire wrap 2016 season with loss at Toronto


Fire wrap 2016 season with loss at Toronto

It wasn’t a full youth movement on the season's last day, but there was one new face in the Chicago Fire’s lineup and that could signal something to come in the offseason.

Goalkeeper Patrick McLain made the start in goal for the Fire in a 3-2 loss at Toronto FC to close out the season.

With the Fire out of contention weeks ago, arguably more notable than the result is the absence of Sean Johnson. Johnson did not travel to Toronto as a healthy scratch while McLain got the start and Matt Lampson was the backup. Considering coach Veljko Paunovic's repeated assurance that he would play what he thought was the strongest lineup and not rotate players just to give younger players more playing time, this decision stands out.

This will fuel further speculation that Johnson could leave in the offseason. Johnson, 27, has been with the Fire since being drafted in 2010. He is the longest tenured Fire player.

McLain finished with three saves, including a nice reaction save following a corner kick in the first half.

Johan Kappelhof also did not play due to a right hip injury. Rodrigo Ramos started at right back in his absence.

As for the actual game, the Fire (7-17-10, 31 points) took the lead via Michael de Leeuw’s seventh goal of the season in the 18th minute. Arturo Alvarez picked up his ninth assist by sliding a pass to de Leeuw, who finished from a tight angle.

Toronto (14-9-11, 53 points) tied things up just before halftime when Sebastian Giovinco was tripped in the box by Joao Meira for a penalty kick. Giovinco buried the penalty and the match was tied at halftime.

Giovinco showed why he is the reigning MLS MVP on the second goal. He managed to control a ball while being double teamed in the box and cut by his man to get to the end line and crossed to Justin Morrow, who finished with a powerful header in the 54th minute.

Jonathan Osorio made it 3-1 when he dribbled around McLain and scored in the 62nd minute.

John Goossens, who came off the bench in the first half for an injured Matt Polster, scored in the 83rd minute to make for a closer finish to the game. Goossens half-volleyed a loose ball in the box with a hammered left-footed strike and his third goal of the season. Polster left with a knee injury.

The loss meant the Fire became the first team in MLS history to finish last place in back-to-back seasons.