Dont look for Rizzo when Cubs play interleague


Dont look for Rizzo when Cubs play interleague

SAN FRANCISCO No matter how much this lineup could use a jolt, dont expect to see Anthony Rizzo when the Cubs resume interleague play this weekend.

Theres no timetable, manager Dale Sveum said Monday. Right now, theres no thought of it.

That essentially confirmed what we knew going in, that the Cubs are leaning to the side of player development and dont want to burn major-league service time. A promotion by late June is a more realistic target date.

Rizzo is hitting .356 with 17 homers and 46 RBIs through his first 50 games at Triple-A Iowa and is said to have Gold Glove potential at first base.

The Cubs will need a designated hitter at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins (June 8-10), and when they face the White Sox on the South Side (June 18-20). That would free up Bryan LaHair to move from first base to left field.

After the San Francisco Giants shut down the Cubs on Sunday the teams 10th straight loss on the road Sveum didnt know what to say. He was asked if Alfonso Sorianos knees would benefit from an extended break.

Weve tried the two days off and that, but we got the DH coming up, Sveum said. Were just trying to get him to that DH spot and roll with it. Hopefully, hell hit some home runs.

Soriano has homered in each of the last seven series the Cubs have played, and he remains the only established middle-of-the-order presence, even if hes not the same player he was years ago.

Sveum wasnt complaining or throwing anyone under the bus when he called his postgame press conferences a broken record. This is just the hand he was dealt.

Sveum made his mark with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun as the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Rudy Jaramillo earned a reputation as one of the best in the business while working with the Texas Rangers. Sveum knows how hardthankless the job can be.

You take things like this personally, Sveum said, (but) you still know that people out in that locker room get paid a lot of money to hit. No matter what, as a hitting coach, you cant stand in the batters box. You cant swing the bat.

So you do have to separate it, but at the same time, Ive lost sleep over it (because) you take pride in a lot of things, and thats one of them.

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame


Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

Kendall Gill can add another bullet point to his resume.

NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls analyst was announced as a member of the University of Illinois' Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. Gill enters in the same class as his coach at Illinois, Lou Henson, and former Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Gill was a part of Illinois' 1989 Final Four team and earned consensus Second-Team All-America honors the following year as a senior when he led the Big Ten in scoring (20 points per game). He is third in program history in steals with 218.

He went on to have a 15-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Bulls.

Last year was the inaugural class for Illinois' hall of fame.

Recruiting news and notes: Lincoln-Way East's AJ Henning piling up major offers


Recruiting news and notes: Lincoln-Way East's AJ Henning piling up major offers

Lincoln-Way East sophomore athlete recruit AJ Henning (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) continues to pile up the major Power 5 scholarship offers this winter including his latest from Stanford on Wednesday.

"Stanford offered me a scholarship today (Wednesday)," Henning said. "I have thirteen scholarship offers so far and it's pretty amazing to have opportunities from such great schools and football programs."

Henning, who was a key performer in leading the Griffins to the 2017 Class 8A state championship run has been taking all of the recruiting attention and offers in stride.

"My family and I talk about recruiting a little bit but it's not really that pressing for me," he said. "I still have two years left of high school so I'm really not in any rush."

Henning, who plans to visit Notre Dame on March 3 is now holding early scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Syracuse and Western Michigan.

Oswego East junior defensive back recruit Justin Clark (6-foot, 180 pounds) has also seen a nice spike in his overall recruiting stock this winter. Clark has been able to add six scholarship offers along with recruiting attention from several Big Ten programs.

"I have offers now from NIU, Bowling Green, Miami of Ohio, Iowa State, Toledo and Ohio University," according to Clark. "I've also been staying in touch with Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa and Purdue. Northwestern is waiting on my test score and they seem pretty interested. Iowa, Purdue and Minnesota all want me to come out and visit them on campus and the same goes for all the schools who have offered me."

Clark, who played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, safety, cornerback as well as return kicks and punts and also punted for Oswego East being recruiting to play at what position in college so far?

"So far the majority of schools are recruiting me to play safety," Clark said. "I'm very open when it comes to position and I also love to return kicks and punts. I just like to be as versatile of a player as I can for my team."

Batavia junior linebacker Michael Jansey Jr. (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) has continued to remain on several college recruiting radar screens this winter and Jansey Jr. has also seen his offers list grow.

"It seems like my recruiting is all starting to come together really well," Jansey Jr. said. "My latest offers from from Miami of Ohio, Kent State, Eastern Kentucky, Cornell and Wyoming."

Jansey Jr, has also remained in steady contact with several Big Ten schools this winter.

"I'm also in touch with Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska," he said. "Also some of the SEC schools are starting to follow me on Twitter. It's just pretty exciting and my recruiting is really starting to all coming together."

Jansey Jr. has early scholarship offers now from Central Michigan, Ball State, Toledo, Illinois State, Iowa State, Western Michigan, Princeton, Cornell, Kent State, Miami of Ohio, Wyoming, Illinois State and Eastern Kentucky.

One of the better stories in the Class of 2019 in Chicagoland has to be Jacobs junior offensive tackle Joacheim Price (6-foot-8, 310 pounds). Price, who has been a mainstay on the Golden Eagles basketball team since his freshman year had never played football until last June. Price is now holding early offers from the likes of Illinois, West Virginia, Iowa State and Northern Illinois this winter. 

"The first time in summer football workouts I didn't know how to get into a stance," Price said. "I had to stay over after every practice that summer just to work on getting into a stance. I also had to learn all of the plays and also learn technique. I just hung in there and kept working and started to gain more and more confidence."