Rose 'should be able to deal with' back injury vs. Bobcats

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Rose 'should be able to deal with' back injury vs. Bobcats

CHARLOTTE Despite lower back spasms limiting him to 22 and 11 minutes, respectively, in his last two games, Derrick Rose expects to play Friday night against the Bobcats.

Its the same, Rose said prior to the Bulls Friday-morning shootaround at Time Warner Cable Arena. A little tight, but I should be able to deal with it.

Added Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau: Same thing, day-to-day.

Well see where he is tonight before the game and well go from there.

Although Thibodeau wont admit, it hasnt hurt that hes been able to manage Roses minutes as the Eastern Conference All-Star starter himself said after Wednesdays blowout victory in New Orleans against some of the worst teams in the league, as the Bulls have cruised to increasingly easy road wins over the Nets and Hornets, with the lowly Bobcats looming Friday.

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.