Bears

On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010
10:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Iowa (AAA)
Good, bad or ugly, Jeff Samardzija continues to find ways to win at Iowa whether hes starting or coming out of the bullpen.

Thursday nights effort at Principal Park falls under the good and the starting categories as Samardzija paced the I-Cubs to a an 8-3 victory over Tacoma. The Notre Dame product allowed a run on three hits over six innings to win his second in a row, fourth in five starts and ninth overall.

The only blemish on his season has been a horrendous one-inning outing at New Orleans in June 29 as he allowed seven runs and suffered his only loss.

Samardzija got a big assist from Micah Hoffpauir, who was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hes hitting .415 (22-for-53) during that stretch with six homers and 18 RBIs. Bryan LaHair and Marquez Smith also had homers for the I-Cubs.

Daytona (A)
The Cubs long winning streak is but a memory. Evidence of that can be found in Thursdays 7-2 loss to Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium. It was Daytonas fourth-loss in a row and second straight to the Hammerheads, statistically one of the worst teams in minor league baseball.

Alberto Cabrera allowed four runs on 10 hits in six innings to suffer the loss. Dave Patton fared no better, allowing three runs in his inning of work. Ryan Flaherty had a homer and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Peoria (A)
Justin Bours eighth-inning grand slam punctuated a monstrous offensive evening for Peoria as it topped Wisconsin, 13-1, Thursday night.

Bours slam was part of a six-run inning and was one of 16 Cheifs hits. He finished with six RBIs and now has 69, third in the Midwest League. Hak-Ju Lee added a pair of hits as did Matt Cerda (two RBIs).

Peoria pitchers allowed only four hits and two of them were surrendered by Su-Min Jung (7-3) over his five shutout innings.

Tennessee (AA)
It was a case of another game, another strong effort for Chris Archer on Thursday night as Tennessee earned a 11-3 victory at Montgomery.

Archer (6-1) improved to 13-2 overall and now has an outside shot, depending on how he is used over the final month of the season, at becoming the minor leagues first 20-game winner since John Fritz went 20-4 for Quad Cities in 1992. Archer cant lose again and may have to pick up a victory or two out of the bullpen but a 20-win season remains a possibly though a long shot.

He allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings keeping his Southern League ERA at a minuscule 0.46. Archer can also thank Matt Spencer, who had a titanic night at the plate, hitting a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and driving in seven as the Smokies scored nine runs over the final three innings.

WHITE SOX

Birmingham (AA)
Jacksonville scored all of its runs in the sixth inning, rallying by Birmingham, 3-2, Thursday night.

Lee Mitchells two-run single off Charlie Leesman was the deciding blow. Leesman allowed five hits in 5 13 innings though only two of the three runs were earned. Justin Greene hit a solo homer for the Barons. Tyler Kuhn went hitless in four at-bats, ending his hitting streak at eight games. Birmingham RHP Charles Shirek was assigned from Charlotte
In other action, Bristol and Johnson City were rained out. The game will be made up Friday as part of a doubleheader. Winston-Salem and Frederick were also washed away and will play a pair on Friday. Kannapolis game with Greensboro was canceled because of the weather and no immediate date was set for when it will be played. Charlotte and Toledo were suspended with one out in the bottom of the second inning with the Mud Hens leading 4-0. The game will be finished Friday beginning at 5 PM with a seven-inning game to follow thereafter.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinsi@gmail.com.

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

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USA TODAY

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

The Bears placed Leonard Floyd on injured reserve Thursday morning, ending the second-year outside linebacker’s season following a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Floyd suffered an MCL and PCL injury and will have surgery in the next week, coach John Fox said, and the Bears do not have a timetable for his recovery yet. But that Floyd didn't suffer damage to his ACL is potentially good news for Floyd's recovery timetable. 

Still, with Floyd on injured reserve and out for the season, the Bears’ current outside linebacker depth chart consists of two veterans (Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho) and two practice squad signees (Isaiah Irving and Howard Jones). These final six games of the 2017 season could serve as auditions for all four players for roles on the 2018 Bears. 

If every team needs at least three good pass rushers, the Bears can count on Akiem Hicks and Floyd for 2018, provided Floyd comes back healthy. But who’s the third?

The Bears could save about $7.5 million in cap space if they release McPhee in 2018; if they were to cut ties with Willie Young, who’s on injured reserve right now as well, it would provide $4.5 million in cap relief. McPhee will be 29 in December, while Young will turn 33 next September. 

The Bears won’t necessarily need the cap relief next year, and could certainly decide to keep both players, who’ve shown they’re still productive when healthy. But even if both players are back, the Bears may need to add another outside linebacker via free agency of the draft — remember, the team could’ve began the season with Floyd, Young, McPhee, Acho and Lamarr Houston as their outside linebackers; an injury Houston suffered in the fourth preseason game ended his time in Chicago. 

Needs at wide receiver and cornerback are pressing, but outside linebacker may need to be in that same conversation. If the Bears have a top-10 pick for the fourth consecutive year, plus some cap space, they perhaps could have the ability to address all three needs in March and April. 

That may be looking a little too far into the future, though. The best-case for the Bears is McPhee finishes the season strong and Irving and/or Jones shows something in the opportunities they receive in these final six games (Jones, for what it’s worth, had five sacks as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015). But the worst-case — and perhaps the most realistic — is that the Bears go into the offseason needing to fill at least one pass-rushing spot. 

The fight for which national team Bastian Schweinsteiger's kid will play for is on

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USA TODAY

The fight for which national team Bastian Schweinsteiger's kid will play for is on

Whenever a famous couple in the world of soccer has a child, there are always jokes about what national teams the kid could play for.

The latest such addition to the gossip columns is the announcement from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ana Ivanovic that they are expecting a child.

Ivanovic, a former tennis pro who won the 2008 French Open champion, announced the news on Twitter with a sponsor-heavy photo.

Schweinsteiger, who played with the Fire this past season, also took to Twitter to share a photo and the news.

Schweinsteiger's future with the Fire remains unclear, but him and Ivanovic seemed to be happy living in Chicago, making various appearances at sporting events in the city. If he returns and the child is born in Chicago, does that mean we could one day see a Schweinsteiger repping the U.S. national team in 20-something years? Maybe the men's team won't be a national embarrassment by then, but then again, if it's a girl she'd be able to pick between the only multiple-time World Cup winning nations (U.S. and Germany).

Perhaps the child would take after Ivanovic and hit volleys with a racket instead of a foot, or maybe he or she will not take after the professional athlete parents.

In all seriousness, congratulations to both Schweinsteiger and Ivanovic.