More on new Cub Barret Loux

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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.

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

What if… Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s takeaways from epic World Series Game 7

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Michigan State gets big win to boost tourney hopes, while Wisconsin loses for fourth time in five games

 

 

 

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling found out at 8 o'clock this morning that he was starting for an ailing Corey Crawford. Considering he did this back in December for a few weeks, adjusting quick for one game was fine.

"It's kind of my job," Darling said.

And Darling, once again, did his job.

Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots and Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 games. They're one point behind the Minnesota Wild, who made their splashy trade-deadline move in acquiring Martin Hanzal on Sunday. But the Blackhawks, thanks to veterans regaining their form, a top line finding its rhythm and youth consistently improving, are just rolling right along.

"We had a great start to the game. I thought Darls was excellent all night, great stretch there in the last 10 minutes where we fight through some tough shifts, particularly in the last couple of minutes in our end. But good win," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at the nice plays on the goals, it was kind of a comparable ending to the outdoor game: tied and about the same time they scored, we scored (tonight). Big two points for us."

Jonathan Toews scored his 16th of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blackhawks already knew they'd be without Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) for at least a day or two when they found out Crawford couldn't go this morning. As Quenneville said Darling was strong once again, denying the Blues all but twice (a 2-on-1 goal from Magnus Paajarvi and a power-play goal from Alex Pietrangelo).

Toews and Kane (power-play goal) staked the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead early before the Blues tied it in the second. But late in the third period Anisimov took the feed from Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"I saw the puck all the way. It was easy to pick up," Anisimov said. "When you don't see the puck at the last moment and it comes, it's hard to receive and prepare for the next move. But I saw it all the way. Easy to prepare for the next move."

Speaking of next moves, do the Blackhawks make any more before the trade deadline. General manager Stan Bowman said on Friday, following the acquisition of Tomas Jurco, that he'll keep talking and listening but likes the group he has right now. If Bowman's made moves it's for what the Blackhawks have needed, not because of another team's trades. The Blackhawks like what they have right now. Winning nine of 10 and continuing to trend in the right direction, they should be careful not to disrupt what they've got going.

"I think we're, as we've said lately, trending the right way. We're playing solid. I think all four lines are contributing in every which way," Toews said. "I love our group right now. Everyone is getting better individually, contributing more and more and it's a lot of fun to see the way we're playing right now. We know that the ceiling is way higher and we can keep getting better too."