Hoyer knows Rizzo cant be the savior for Cubs

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Hoyer knows Rizzo cant be the savior for Cubs

Across the Twitter universe, the Anthony Rizzo to Wrigley Field rumors caught fire on Sunday night.

But that was just someone being overanxious and connecting the wrong dots on the official Iowa Cubs account. Rizzo left that Triple-A game with a sore right wrist after a swing and miss. He wasnt catching a flight to Chicago.

The initial X-rays in Memphis were negative, and the Cubs were still gathering information on Monday, describing the injury as nothing serious.

During their 12-game losing streak, the Cubs had been shut out twice, and only two times scored more than four runs. But at the moment, theyre not looking at Rizzo to generate a spark.

No young player should ever be viewed as the savior or the changer of a major-league offense, general manager Jed Hoyer said. We have a lot of veterans on this team and were going to get through this and get on the right track because of those veteran guys, not because of young guys coming up from the minor leagues.

Whether thats Rizzo, whether thats other guys, we cant count on those guys as saviors. Theyre big parts of our future, but thats not their role for us in 2012.

Hoyer will be guided by experience. Last June, the Padres needed a jumpstart. They werent getting enough offense out of Brad Hawpe, so Hoyer promoted Rizzo, then 21, from Triple-A Tucson.

In 52 games there, Rizzo had hit .365 with 16 homers and 63 RBI. It didnt translate to San Diego, where he hit .141 with 46 strikeouts in 128 at-bats.

Rizzo has described that video as sickening to watch. Hes fixed his swing to the point where hes hitting .354 with 17 homers and 46 RBI in his first 48 games at Iowa.

Ive certainly taken the blame for bringing him up last year in almost an identical situation I might add when youre struggling to score runs, Hoyer said. We brought him up because we werent getting any production at first base. (And) as things sped up on (Rizzo), he had some mechanical flaws.

Hes worked hard to close those holes. It doesnt mean hes not going to have his struggles at times when he gets up here, like every young player. But I think weve liked what weve seen, his willingness to make adjustments and the way hes gone about his business in Triple-A.

Looking to add some power to his lineup, manager Dale Sveum said the front office could consider calling up Rizzo for road interleague series against the Twins (June 8-10) and White Sox (June 18-20), when the Cubs will need a designated hitter.

Everythings on the table this time of year, Hoyer said, but right now we got to get to the bottom of the reason he came out of the game (on Sunday). Were not going to bring him up until we feel like its his time to come up here and make those adjustments.

Were not bringing him up here as a changer of our fortunes. Thats not fair to him.

Team president Theo Epstein has implicitly downplayed the idea of major-league service time being at the center of this decision.

But the Cubs have obviously calculated that waiting until late June to promote Rizzo would preserve a year of club control and delay his free agency.

Were not going to rush him, Epstein said. Were going to wait until the time is right, his development being the primary factor.

So back to our regularly scheduled Rizzo Watch. Just dont believe every tweet you read.

I got to concern myself with Cubs standards, Epstein said. Its hard to also worry about journalistic standards sometimes, or whatever the heck happened down there. I guess it was our fault, or our affiliates fault. It happens. I understand it. Its part of the modern world.

Marian Catholic quarterback Cameron Thomas commits to Illini

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Marian Catholic quarterback Cameron Thomas commits to Illini

Marian Catholic three-star dual-threat quarterback Cameron Thomas gave Illinois head coach Lovie Smith his verbal commitment Tuesday night. Thomas added his first offer from Illinois a few weeks ago.

"Illinois is the right fit for me," Thomas said. "I feel I can really be successful under the guidance of the new coaching staff at Illinois."

Thomas pointed towards his relationship with the Illinois staff as a big reason why he gave the Fighting Illini his verbal commitment.

"The coaching staff at Illinois makes my family and I feel like we are already members of the Illini Nation."

Thomas is now the fourth verbal commitment in the Fighting Illini's Class of 2017 and the third in-state commitment. Thomas joins Brother Rice wide receiver Ricky Smalling and Bolingbrook wide receiver Kendall Smith as in-state commitments.

Tyler Saladino's homer helps White Sox snap seven-game skid

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Tyler Saladino's homer helps White Sox snap seven-game skid

NEW YORK — Tyler Saladino delivered a sweet — and long overdue — sound to the White Sox on Tuesday night.

The shortstop capped off the best game of his career with a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the White Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the New York Mets in front of 32,781 at Citi Field. Saladino’s homer off reliever Hansel Robles gave the White Sox their first win since last Monday. He also singled, walked twice and stole two bases for the White Sox, who received four scoreless innings from the bullpen.

Losers in 15 of their previous 19, the White Sox improved to 28-25. David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

With one out and Melky Cabrera on first after a leadoff walk, Saladino fouled off three straight Robles fastballs before he ripped a 2-2 heater out to left field for a two-run homer to put the White Sox ahead for good. Saladino — who entered the game hitting .341/.364/.463 in May — also had a three-run homer in Saturday’s loss at Kansas City.

The White Sox continued to apply pressure in the eighth as Robles walked pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins and stole second, the team’s fourth of the game. The four steals are the most in a game by the White Sox since Aug. 6, 2011. Adam Eaton also walked again and Brett Lawrie jumped on the first pitch from Logan Verrett for a two-out RBI single and a critical insurance run.

Steven Matz had the White Sox stymied in the early going.

He induced nothing but grounders in the first few innings and didn’t allow a hit until the third. While the White Sox got a pair of singles in the fourth inning, they couldn’t take advantage as Dioner Navarro flew out. Matz, who entered with a scoreless streak of 14, cruised through the fifth inning, too.

But trailing 4-0, the White Sox finally broke through in the sixth inning.

Jose Abreu singled off the glove of James Loney and Frazier crushed a two-run homer to left-center field, his 16th. After Avisail Garcia grounded into a double play, Saladino kept the inning alive with a walk. He easily stole second and third base before Navarro chased Matz when he singled just over the shortstop’s glove to get the White Sox within 4-3. Matz allowed three earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three.

White Sox starter Mat Latos didn’t have it easy in the early innings.

He had a potential double play wiped out in the first inning by a Frazier error, putting two on with no outs. Consecutive fly balls by Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes allowed lead runner Curtis Granderson to tag up twice and put New York in the lead. Another Frazier error in the second combined with a walk and a hit led to a 2-0 deficit after a Granderson sac fly.

A leadoff walk in the third hurt Latos when Neil Walker hit a two-run homer, his 13th. Latos retired eight of the last 10 he faced, allowing four runs (two earned) and four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.

A White Sox bullpen that has seen its share of struggles took over from there and delivered three scoreless innings to hand it off to Robertson. A group that allowed 14 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in Kansas City took a step in the right direction as Zach Putnam, Dan Jennings and Nate Jones all put up zeroes.

Jim Harbaugh makes Alabama and Nick Saban his latest Twitter target

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Jim Harbaugh makes Alabama and Nick Saban his latest Twitter target

Like the killer in a slasher movie or an infestation of ants, the discussion about NCAA satellite camps just won't die.

Justified or not, the SEC still has sour grapes over the sudden spread of satellite camps across college football, and the latest head coach to voice his displeasure was Alabama's Nick Saban. You know, the coach of the reigning national champs and a five-time national championship-winning coach.

Saban made extended comments during the SEC meetings on Tuesday, going after the involvement of third parties in the running of these camps rather than the typical SEC target of a recruiting advantage for programs from other parts of the country infringing on SEC territory.

And because the poster child for satellite camps is Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh — who seems to be holding a camp in every state in the union every day of the upcoming month of June — of course his name came up.

"I'm not blaming Jim Harbaugh, I'm not saying anything about him," Saban said, his quotes published over at Dr. Saturday. "I'm just saying it's bad for college football. Jim Harbaugh can do whatever he wants to do. I'm not saying anything bad about him if he thinks that's what's best. There needs to be somebody that looks out for what's best for the game, not what's best for the Big Ten or what's best for the SEC, or what's best for Jim Harbaugh, but what's best for the game of college football — the integrity of the game, the coaches, the players and the people that play it. That's bigger than all of this."

Despite Saban saying he didn't care what Harbaugh does, Harbaugh — who has a mighty quick trigger finger on Twitter and has put several coaches in his crosshairs this offseason — took it personally and launched a counter-attack on social media.

Add Saban to the list of SEC head honchos Harbaugh has targeted via Twitter, the Crimson Tide coach joining Tennessee's Butch Jones, Georgia's Kirby Smart and Mississippi's Hugh Freeze.

Regardless of how things play out on the field or in the recruiting rankings, Harbaugh is making sure he is competitive in the war of words.

Oh, and if you're interested, here's video of Saban's comments.