CHARLOTTE According to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are game-time decisions for Wednesday nights game against the Bobcats and its unlikely that the All-Star duo willparticipate in the teams morning shootaround.Well find out shortly, but theyre still sore, said Thibodeau, who added probably not, when asked if either of the players would take part in the shootaround session, held at Time Warner Cable Arena. But well see. Well see tonight."Rose missed Mondays home loss to lowly Washington with soreness in his right foot, something that occurred following Sundays overtime win at Detroit.Soreness from just playing. I didn't feel anything until after the game, right after the game, walking back to the locker room, it was kind of sore. Taking my shoe off just hurt, throbbing. Walking was kind of messed up, explained Rose, who insisted that he doesnt have tendonitis at least not in his ankle, though he admitted to having the issue in his knees before or plantar fasciitis, an injury that hobbled teammates Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson in the past. I can remember a little bit, tweaked it a little bit, but I should be all right.Its not my actual bone. Its the tendon to around my ankle. It has fluid on them and the fluid caused pain, so right now Im just waiting for the fluid to move around. Try to get it out as quick as possible, he continued. Its definitely new.Added Thibodeau: My understanding, it wasnt a specific play. It was more after the game, so usually, if its a twisted ankle, you can see the play that it happened on. This wasnt the case.My understanding is a sore foot, so hes being treated daily and hes improving. Thats the most important thing, continued the coach, who noted that the foot injury wasnt connected to Roses previously sprained right ankle. Overall, Roses ankle is good. He said hes feeling better. This is a different injury, so hopefully itll be cleared up quickly.As for Deng, the first-time All-Star missed Mondays game with a rib injury after taking a shot from former teammate Ben Gordon in Sundays win. While Thibodeau doesnt necessarily believe Deng, who averages the most minutes per game in the league, needs the rest, he acknowledged that it could be beneficial to eighth-year small forwards left wrist, in which he suffered torn ligaments, causing him to miss nine games earlier in the season.I guess thats the way you have to look at it. If he cant play, then it is time off, Thibodeau reasoned. Hes been off 10 games this year, so from a rest standpoint, hes good, but we want him to be healthy. Thats important.
As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.
Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.
Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.
“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”
Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.
“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”
Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.
Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.
“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”
The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.
“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”
So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?
“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”
In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.
Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.
The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.
The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.
The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.
Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:
- The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
- One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
- Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
- The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
- The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
- The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.