White Sox

The Starting Five: Bulls v. Jazz

The Starting Five: Bulls v. Jazz

Saturday, March 12, 2011Posted: 3:45 PM

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

1. Following their deadline deal of All-Star floor general Deron Williams to New Jersey--which netted them point guard Devin Harris, rookie power forward Derrick Favors and two first-round draft picks--the Jazz have been struggling. New Utah head coach and former DePaul star Tyrone Corbin was placed in a tough position, having to fill the shoes of retired Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan in the middle of the season, and injuries (such as to power forward Paul Millsap, who is reportedly a game-time decision for Saturday's tilt, due to tendinitis in his knee) haven't helped the situation, causing the free-falling Jazz to sink to 10th in the Western Conference playoff race.

2. Friday's win over Atlanta put the Bulls within a half-game of Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference and with the Celtics off Saturday after falling to Philadelphia Friday, a win over Utah would put Chicago in possession of the East's top spot. However, the Bulls' potential reign alone at the top could be short-lived, as Boston faces Milwaukee Sunday, while Chicago will be idle. Looking ahead--something Thibodeau wouldn't approve of--if the Bulls and Celtics finish the regular season with identical records, April 7, the date when the two teams meet for the fourth and final time, will be very important. Boston was victorious in the season's first two meetings in Massachusetts, while the Bulls won at the United Center in January, meaning a Bulls' win would neutralize the first playoff-seeding tiebreaker criteria.

3. After not playing since Joakim Noah's first game back in the lineup, 38-year-old veteran Kurt Thomas started in Carlos Boozer's place Friday night--Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau made the decision to go with Thomas over Taj Gibson based on not wanting to break up the chemistry of the team's second unit--and finished the evening with 13 rebounds, while also limiting Hawks center Al Horford to six points after he burned the Bulls for 31 and 16 rebounds in a Chicago loss in Atlanta last week. "It can be difficult, but I've been playing a long time," Thomas told CSNChicago.com about being "put on ice," then being inserted into the starting lineup. "That's definitely the first time that's ever happened--the first time I've ever experienced that--but I just love to play. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I just want to go out there and be successful." Thomas added that he felt "a little bit" of rust, "but once the game got going, it's just like riding a bike."

4. When asked about Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf's comments about the team being capable of winning "at least four championships," in light of Saturday's celebration, Derrick Rose responded, "The only thing we can do is just play hard and try to put ourselves in a position to win. He's a great owner. We have great management, from Gar, Randy, Pax and everybody. The only thing we can do is push for it. We have a good core group and hopefully we get there one day."

5. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter at @CSNBullsInsider.

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Zack Collins

Collins, the 22-year-old catcher, has been projected as the White Sox catcher of the future since he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

A Florida native and University of Miami product, Collins initially was celebrated for his batting prowess and faced questions about his defensive abilities, only to improve with the glove in 2017 while he watched some offensive numbers slip a bit.

After joining the White Sox organization in 2016, Collins slashed .258/.418/.467 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games at Class A Winston-Salem. In 2017, he played 101 more games at Winston-Salem, slashing .223/.365/.443 with 17 homers and 48 RBIs. He also played a dozen games at Double-A Birmingham, where he added a couple more homers and five more RBIs.

This offseason's signing of Welington Castillo installs a veteran backstop for two or three seasons at the big league level, meaning there's no rush for Collins to get to the majors.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Collins rated as the No. 7 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Collins in the video above.

Fantasy baseball: Taking another crack at projecting the White Sox 2021 lineup

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USA TODAY

Fantasy baseball: Taking another crack at projecting the White Sox 2021 lineup

Playing a rebuild-centric edition of fantasy baseball is all the rage for South Side baseball fans.

After Baseball America forecasted the White Sox starting lineup for the 2021 season, it sparked a new round of projections, and we weren't going to be excluded.

So here's a guess at what the South Siders will look like three years from now, with some variables obviously being discussed such as additions the team could make through free agency or a trade — Manny Machado? Nolan Arenado? Christian Yelich? — and which of their bevy of young pitchers could be left out of the starting rotation of the future.

Also be sure to send us your future lineups on Twitter. We're @NBCSWhiteSox.

Enjoy: