Preps Talk

Rangers pitcher will miss the rest of the season

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Rangers pitcher will miss the rest of the season

From Comcast SportsNet
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis will miss the rest of the season because of a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. Lewis was evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister before Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox and elected to have surgery. Meister will perform the operation this week and Lewis is expected to be sidelined for nine to 12 months. "It's a disappointment," he said. "Not only to me, but to my family, my teammates and the organization." Texas manager Ron Washington called Lewis the team's "anchor." "You always knew what you'd get when you put Colby Lewis out there, and it's usually pretty great," Washington said. Lewis is 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this season. The right-hander has been a key member of a steady rotation that's helped Texas win consecutive AL pennants the past two years. He is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts. The Rangers put Lewis on the disabled list Monday and recalled rookie left-hander Martin Perez. Lewis was on the disabled list from June 24 to July 17 with right forearm tendinitis. He made one start after returning, allowing one run and three hits over five innings in Oakland last Wednesday. Lewis said he felt good for three innings during that start but his arm tightened up in the fourth and fifth. "I didn't want to push it. I didn't want everything to pop," Lewis said, adding that an MRI before he went on the DL in June revealed a small tear. Lewis, who turns 33 next month, was Texas' opening-day starter this year. He won at least 12 games and reached 200 innings each of the past two seasons. The Rangers had another pitching injury Monday when Roy Oswalt missed his scheduled start because of back stiffness. Scott Feldman came out of the bullpen to start. Lewis was scheduled to pitch the second game of the series against Boston. Unless he's needed in relief Monday night, Perez will start in Lewis' place Tuesday. Perez made his major league debut for the Rangers this month and was recalled five days after being sent to Triple-A Round Rock. He is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in four appearances for Texas, including two starts. "I was told that I did what they expected of me. I didn't get mad because they sent me down," Perez said through a translator. With Lewis out for the season and Oswalt ailing, the AL West leaders must quickly evaluate what moves they might want to make before the July 31 trade deadline. Fellow starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland have all spent time on the DL this season. Texas reliever Alexi Ogando, who has started in the past, recently came off the disabled list. General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers have been "monitoring the market." "We've had guys out there looking and had conversations with clubs," Daniels said. Daniels said Feliz has at least two more scheduled starts for Triple-A Round Rock. Holland is slated to pitch Wednesday against Boston. Oswalt was examined by Dr. Mike McCann on Monday in Houston, where he received an injection in his lower back. According to a Rangers spokesman, Oswalt is optimistic that he will return for his next scheduled outing Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. Ogando came back last Tuesday and has pitched three innings in four games out of the bullpen. Daniels said he could be a candidate to be moved into the starting rotation. Lewis had Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm in high school and right shoulder surgery in 2004. "(Losing Lewis) is a blow for us, but it's something we're going to recover from," Daniels said. "It's an opportunity for someone to step up. I feel bad for Colby, he's been a warrior. He's pitched a ton of innings and he's been such a leader by example." Washington acknowledged that Perez pitched only two innings in his latest minor league appearance Friday night against Omaha because of the concern over Lewis' status. "If he starts (Tuesday), there is no pitch limit. It would just depend on how effective he is," Washington said. "The guy has proved he can pitch here, so we didn't hesitate to bring him back. I told him he would be back when a situation presents itself, and it presented."

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.