Thibodeau reveals Rose's rehab process

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Thibodeau reveals Rose's rehab process

Amidst his usual repertoire of injury updates and plaudits about the opposition in this case, a bit more heartfelt, given the opponent, his former employer Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau slipped in some cautious optimism.

Thibodeau, when updating the assembled media about injured superstar Derrick Roses status, acknowledged that he expects the former league MVP to be back in action this season.

I do, Thibodeau said prior to his teams loss to visiting Boston. Hes doing great. We have to be patient with it. Hes been very diligent. Hes in every day. Hes moving along. He started cutting. Hes been shooting for a while now. Hes feeling pretty good, so we just have to be patient.

Its the next step for him, so everything is going according to plan. Hes not ahead of schedule, hes not behind schedule. Hes exactly where he should be.

Previously, Thibodeau left it in the air as to Roses travel plans when the team is on the road. But with the Bulls leaving for their annual Circus Trip following Tuesdays practice at the Berto Center and Roses offseason residence of Los Angeles on the itinerary ironically, the Bulls visit Staples Center to play the Clippers, coached by Thibodeaus predecessor, Vinny Del Negro, Roses first NBA coach it makes sense that the player and team cross paths.

Were going to do what we think is best for both the team and Derrick, so for this trip, I like him being in one place, Thibodeau explained. He might meet us out in L.A., but for him, the rehab has to be the priority, so thats what I want him to focus in on. For us, its a long trip and were going to be jumping around, so hell be on the trip for part of it. Hell meet us out in L.A.

Aside from his rehabilitation and the responsibilities of new fatherhood, as evidenced by photos he posted on his Twitter account during Roses time away from basketball, the Chicago native has been reading books on leadership and topics like the first African-American surgeon, according to a person familiar with his activities. Additionally, when visiting teams come into town, hes been a constant presence behind the scenes running wind sprints prior to the Bulls game against Oklahoma City, led by his close friend and usual summer workout partner, Russell Westbrook, as well as talking to fellow sidelined star Ricky Rubio and motivating his point-guard counterpart not to mention shooting pregame jumpers on the United Center court, as well as his daily workouts at the Berto Center.

Hes in every day, so they see how hard hes working at his rehab. Hes around his teammates, but we cant use that as a crutch. You cant replace a guy like Derrick individually. Your only chance is if youre doing it collectively, so we need everybody else to focus in on knowing what their job is, doing their job and doing it as a team, Thibodeau said. For us, thats our only chance and whether Derricks there or not, the approach and our attitude, that shouldnt change and the focus has to be on our improvement, and thats where we want it to be.

White Sox bullpen in as 'good' a position as possible

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White Sox bullpen in as 'good' a position as possible

They merely hoped to survive the doubleheader, but members of the White Sox bullpen feel as if they’re well positioned for success.

The combined efforts of Mat Latos and Erik Johnson limited the number of outs covered by the White Sox bullpen to 16 in Monday’s doubleheader. Latos and Johnson completed 12.2 of the 18 innings played, which meant no White Sox relievers appeared in both games. Of the five relievers to pitch, Matt Purke’s 2.1 innings was the longest stint. Given they have eight relievers on hand, the White Sox like where they’re at as the pass the midpoint in a stretch with 17 games in 16 days.

“That’s about as good as you can do,” closer David Robertson said. “If we’d have had two wins it would have been a lot better. But it was a good job by the staff altogether, the starters and relievers. The defense played really well, saved us a lot of runs. It was a long day yesterday.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura only used Purke in the nightcap. In the opener, he turned to Zach Duke, Matt Albers, Nate Jones and Robertson, a group that ultimately closed out a 7-6 victory.

Duke, who pitched in parts of two innings, said he had a pretty good idea he wouldn’t be used in the second game and the same likely went for Albers.

“They kind of give us an idea what the plan is going to be that way we’re not going to be caught off guard by anything,” Duke said. “But like I say, when the phone rings you find a way to get the job done.”

The White Sox added Tommy Kahnle to the roster before Monday’s doubleheader and kept him in the majors afterward, opting to send Erik Johnson back to Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox still have eight more consecutive games to play after Tuesday’s contest against the Cleveland Indians before a day off next Thursday. Given they’re set to play the New York Mets in interleague, they may stick with the eight-man bullpen for now.

“We wanted to make sure we were covered down there,” Ventura said. “You never know how that’s going to go.”

'The butterfly effect' from Jason Heyward's return to Cubs lineup

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'The butterfly effect' from Jason Heyward's return to Cubs lineup

ST. LOUIS — Jason Heyward owns three Gold Gloves, gets on base 35 percent of the time and allows Cubs manager Joe Maddon to hit Ben Zobrist behind Anthony Rizzo. Even if the offensive numbers never match the external expectations for a $184 million player, Heyward’s presence matters.

"That’s the butterfly effect," Maddon said Tuesday at Busch Stadium, where Heyward returned to the lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals. "When they flutter their wings, something else occurs that’s not noticeable to the naked eye.

"It happens in Russia. It happens in '11/22/63.' So there are all these different moments that occur that we don’t really recognize because we only see the obvious."

Heyward’s absence didn’t fully explain a three-game losing streak or the offensive regression, and it might not have changed a 1-0 loss to San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on "Sunday Night Baseball."

But after watching Friday’s jaw-dropping catch and headfirst crash into the AT&T Park wall, general manager Jed Hoyer admitted it felt like the Cubs dodged a bullet. Heyward somehow walked away with only a bruised right side at a time when the Cubs couldn’t afford to lose another corner outfielder.

"He’s not hitting .300, so obviously people think that he’s not playing well, which is so far from the truth," Maddon said. "He makes a great impact just by his presence as a great defender. He gets on base a lot. And then he permits us to reorganize the batting order."

Heyward went into Tuesday hitting .225 with one home run through 165 plate appearances and a .611 OPS that’s a 173-point drop from his career numbers entering this season. He had been feeling like he was getting his timing down again — and working through a nagging wrist issue — so we’ll see what the extra rest means for the butterfly effect.

"Sometimes the game’s going to get you," Heyward said. "You say 'turn it around,' but we’re doing OK. Right now, we’re not by any means complacent, but it’s a part of the season. You’re going to go through ups and downs. You’re going to go through stretches where the other team just has a better night than you do."

Report: Hoosiers' Troy Williams to stay in NBA Draft

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Report: Hoosiers' Troy Williams to stay in NBA Draft

Indiana got good news when Thomas Bryant opted to return for his sophomore season rather than pursue a pro career. The news on Troy Williams might not be as pleasing.

According to a report from the Indianapolis Star's Gregg Doyel, Williams will forego his senior season with the Hoosiers and keep his name in the NBA Draft.

Williams averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for Indiana last season, ranking in the top 20 in the Big Ten in both categories. He was a big part of the Hoosiers' high-powered offense that led them to a regular-season conference title. His shooting numbers, though, were significantly lower than they were during his sophomore season. Williams shot 51.3 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from 3-point range after shooting 54 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range during the 2014-15 season.

Williams' departure would mean the Hoosiers would lose arguably their two best players — graduated senior Yogi Ferrell being the other — from a team that went to the Sweet Sixteen in last season's NCAA tournament.

Still, Crean returns Bryant, as well as last year's breakout freshman O.G. Anunoby.