Notre Dame suspends Cierre Wood, Justin Utupo two games

865615.png

Notre Dame suspends Cierre Wood, Justin Utupo two games

Notre Dame has suspended running back Cierre Wood, NBC Sports' Keith Arnold first reported earlier Sunday afternoon. Coach Brian Kelly later announced Wood, along with defensive end Justin Utupo, will be suspended for the team's first two games of the 2012 season against Navy and Purdue.

Ourplayers are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure tomeet my expectations will result in consequences, Kelly said in a statement. Justin andCierre violated our team rules so Ive suspended them for the first two gamesof the season.

Wood led Notre Dame with 1,102 rushing yards in 2011, scoring nine touchdowns on 217 attempts. He was likely slated as the team's No. 1 running back heading into the 2012 season.

The Irish aren't without depth at running back, though, as George Atkinson III and Theo Riddick were expected to see increased roles this season. Atkinson III, a sophomore, saw limited time in 2011 while Riddick has been moved into a running backwide receiver hybrid role for the season.

Wood, a senior, is one of the last remaining players who were recruited by Charlie Weis' staff. He told CSNChicago.com last September that he considered transferring after a frustrating freshman season, but wanted to prove to the new regime that he was worthy of playing time.

"I was a little salty about it," Wood said. "I really didn't want to be here, because who really wants to if you're not playing.

"I never lost my love of the game, I just wanted to take my talents somewhere else."

But Wood stuck things out at Notre Dame, and was expected to be part of a three-headed running back monster this year -- especially important given the inexperience of starting quarterback Everett Golson.

"I've seen great growth in George Atkinson," coach Brian Kelly said earlier in fall camp. "We always look to George as somebody that maybe he's just a running back. Well, he's really evolved into somebody that can catch the football for us.

"We know about Theo, obviously with his stint at the wide receiver position, and Cierre has really made great strides over the past 10 days or so. They're all going to play, and it would not be a surprise if a couple of them are on the field at the same time."

Nerve issue sends Tyler Saladino to DL, White Sox bring up outfielder Adam Engel

Nerve issue sends Tyler Saladino to DL, White Sox bring up outfielder Adam Engel

The White Sox will be without infielder Tyler Saladino for at least 10 days.

Saladino was placed on the 10-day disabled list ahead of Saturday's doubleheader with what the team called back spasms, though Saladino explained it's a nerve issue that will keep him on the shelf.

Saladino left Friday night's game, and he said he was experiencing soreness Saturday.

"It’s like a sciatic nerve related stuff. Kind of ruled the back out of it," Saladino said. "Going to try to find a way to get it to calm down."

Saladino said he's been dealing with minor issues over the past week but that it really flared up when he stepped on first base Friday night.

He explained that this is the first time he's ever dealt with a nerve issue like this and that he doesn't have much of an idea what to expect.

“Brand new. Nerve thing, never had anything like it before. It’s all brand new," Saladino said. "Just going to kind of take it, start with some treatment, see how it goes. Have no idea what’s going on.

“This right here kind of made me play a little bit cautious. You don’t really think about it when you’re out there playing. You’ve got enough adrenaline to take over. But feeling a little bit of a nerve thing kind of sat me back. It’s just in the back of your head. You don’t really know what’s going on. You feel a little bit of stuff that’s going on that’s brand new, doesn’t feel right."

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

In a corresponding roster move, the White Sox brought outfielder Adam Engel up from Triple-A Charlotte.

Engel had a slow start to the season in his first handful of games, but he's been swinging a pretty hot bat of late. In his last 30 games, he's hitting .286 with a .370 on-base percentage and eight home runs.

"Just made an adjustment with my hands, just kind of picked them up a little bit," Engel said about what changed. "I have been kind of getting them behind me, kind of putting me in a tough position to hit. I just picked them up and I feel like I’m in a better position."

White Sox manager Rick Renteria had plenty of praise for the newest addition to his roster.

“Tremendously gifted outfielder, runs real well. Was starting to put together a pretty good run at the Triple-A level. Hit his seventh or eight home run last night," Renteria said before Saturday's first game. "Has been playing very well, continues to develop. You’ll probably see him here soon in the outfield, get a game. Talking to (bench coach Joe McEwing) and the staff, we’ve talked about trying to get guys in as quickly as possible so they get their feet underneath them. He’s been doing very, very well. He’s a very gifted outfielder with potentially the ability to hold his own at the plate.”

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

Luis Robert is officially a member of the White Sox organization.

Introduced with much fanfare during a Saturday press conference, Robert strolled out to the pitcher's mound at Gauranteed Rate Field for a ceremonial first pitch wearing a White Sox hat and jersey prior to the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.

But amid the hype and the excitement for White Sox fans, patience will be required. Robert is still a ways away from the big leagues, with general manager Rick Hahn saying Saturday that the 19-year-old Cuban outfielder will begin his journey through the organization in the Dominican Republic with the White Sox team in the Dominican Summer League.

Hahn made a point of mentioning that Robert hasn't played in a baseball game since last summer, meaning it's been nearly a year since the White Sox newest highly touted prospect has taken the field.

“It should be noted he has not played in a game since last July. He’s been preparing for workouts over the last several months. So right now, from Chicago, he’s going to return to the Dominican and begin his development there," Hahn said. "He will prepare to join our Dominican Summer League team in the coming weeks and then we will get all the visas in place and take things from there. His initial assignment will be back to the Dominican as he prepares to work his way through the White Sox organization.

"We’re going to have to be patient with this because he hasn’t played in almost a year now. He has been training now quite frankly more to be a workout warrior than an everyday baseball player. We’re gonna take our time at our complex, get him back playing games regularly and then get him out there. But the fact that he hasn’t played in competition for 11 months now is going to be a factor in how quickly we move him along in '17."

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Scouting reports that have compared Robert to the likes of Adam Jones and Lorenzo Cain, plus the gaudy numbers he posted in the Cuban National Series including a .401 batting average in 53 games during the 2016 season, have generated plenty of buzz. Robert is already one of the White Sox top prospects and one of the higher-rated prospects in baseball on his first day as a pro.

But as Hahn mentioned Saturday, there's still plenty of development for Robert before he's ready for the majors.

"There’s still a fair amount of development for this player," Hahn said. "This will take some time here. But with his raw set of materials and what he’s accomplished in international competition and at the highest league in Cuba at a young age, helps reinforce how you project this player to develop."

Even before Robert's signing, it was obvious Hahn and the White Sox were playing the long game, with top prospects like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech allowed plenty of time before their eventual summons to the big leagues. Robert, again just 19 years old, will take some time, too. But the White Sox are confident it will all pay off.

"Luis Robert is going to be the player that his tools allow him to become and his health and development pace dictates," Hahn said. "We do think he has the potential to be a perennial impact player in the middle of our diamond and lineup for years to come. That’s an important piece to be able to add to the organization."