Cubs leaving their bullpen up in the air


Cubs leaving their bullpen up in the air

TEMPE, Ariz. Dale Sveum wouldnt tip his hand and reveal how the Cubs are leaning as they put the finishing touches on their bullpen.

Well wait and see in a couple days, Sveum said before Sundays 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. (No), I wouldnt say were any closer. There are still performances out there.

In essence, there are eight relievers left in camp even if all the paperwork hasnt been filed yet and seven spots in the bullpen. Working backwards, Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Rafael Dolis and James Russell are in, and Rodrigo Lopez is the only obvious long man still standing.

Sveum has talked up Shawn Camp, a veteran reliever recently picked up after his release from the Seattle Mariners. Camp pitched 1.2 scoreless innings on Sunday and struck out three of the six batters he faced.

Its no secret the front office would like to add a second left-hander to the mix alongside Russell. The Cubs manager wouldnt rule out adding another arm.

Theres a possibility, Sveum said. I dont know of any talk or anything like that. Obviously, theres a chance of somebody coming up and getting released in the next few days. Theres always an opportunity or a possibility.

In what may be his final chance to make an impression, Manuel Corpas is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It could be down to Corpas or Lendy Castillo, a converted infielderRule 5 pick from the Philadelphia Phillies who has pitched 111 minor-league innings in his career, all at Class-A or lower.

Wood the only established setup man on the roster is supposed to throw a full inning on Monday in his final tune-up. There could be times where Sveum will use Marmol before the ninth.

Winning the game is the most important, obviously, Sveum said. But in the scheme of things, the least amount of pitches we can get these guys to throw, the better. If hes going into games and hes having quick innings and quick saves without the 20 to 30 (pitch counts), then, yeah, youll use him for four outs, maybe five.

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Stay up to date with the Blackhawks' selections in the 2017 NHL Draft, and their scouting reports.

Round 1, pick 29: Henri Jokiharju, defenseman

Round 2, pick 57: Ian Mitchell, defenseman 

— What you need to know: Mitchell, 18, scored eight goals and 29 assists in 53 regular-season games with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and also scored a goal and three assists in 10 playoff contests.

— Scouting report: Mitchell is a little undersized (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but is known to be a smooth skater and puck-mover. He carries a right-handed shot, which GM Stan Bowman said is a "commodity" in the NHL these days.

Round 3, pick 70: Andrei Altybarmakyan, forward

— What you need to know: Altybarmakyan, 18, scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 31 regular-season games with the Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg of the Maritime Hockey League. He also tallied nine points in 27 games with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg.

— Scouting report: An offensively skilled player with a sneaky good shot. He's 5-foot-11, 183 pounds with a left-handed shot, and is known to be a playmaker.


Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.