White Sox

Cubs recall Valbuena, Castillo

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Cubs recall Valbuena, Castillo

As one Cub goes down, another has returned.

Ian Stewart was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a left wrist injury and catcher Koyie Hill was designated for assignment.

In corresponding moves, catcher Welington Castillo was activated from the DL and infielder Luis Valbuena was called up from Triple-A Iowa. Both players are available for the series finale against Detroit Thursday.

Valbuena is a 26-year-old infielder whom the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays in early April. He was actually a member of the Cubs' Opening Day roster, but didn't see any action and was sent down to Triple-A April 7.

He hit .303.378.507 with 17 doubles, eight homers, 38 runs and 31 RBI in 58 games. Valbuena has played more than 200 major-league games, including 10 at third base, where he will likely see the most action in Stewart's absence.

Castillo injured his knee on Kerry Wood's final pitch and wound up on the DL May 22. He was hitting .185 with two doubles and one homer in seven games with the Cubs before the injury.

NBC Sports Chicago to honor retiring behind-the-scenes broadcasting legend Jim Angio

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NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago to honor retiring behind-the-scenes broadcasting legend Jim Angio

Chicago, IL (September 24, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago – THE home of the #AuthenticFan – will be honoring the illustrious 40-year career of 13-time Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award winner & Emmy ‘Silver Circle’ inductee JIM ANGIO, who will be officially retiring at the end of the season, during its White Sox telecast tomorrow night (Tue, Sept. 25) vs. the Cleveland Indians (coverage begins at 7:00 PM CT).  

Among the in-game highlights honoring Angio during Tuesday night’s White Sox telecast on NBC Sports Chicago include numerous video montages featuring classic Chicago sports moments Angio has directed over the years, along with interview clips showcasing a number of front-facing and behind-the-scenes individuals who worked with Angio over his career.  IN ADDITION – NBC Sports Chicago will dedicate the entire third inning of tomorrow night’s game to Angio, as fans will hear first-hand how he calls the game from inside the production truck.

“Jim Angio is a true Chicago sports legend who will go down as one of the very best directors in sports broadcasting history,” said Greg Bowman, VP of Programming for NBC Sports Chicago.  “We are grateful for Jim’s artful direction on so many of our city’s most memorable sports moments and we couldn’t be more honored than to dedicate Tuesday night’s game to Jimmy, along with providing our audience with a glimpse of his expert efforts.”

Angio, 66, a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, began his White Sox broadcasting career back in 1978 with WSNS-TV 44 in Chicago working with the late Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall.  During his distinguished career, Angio was at the helm of directing numerous no-hitters, which include Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter and perfect game, along with Tom Seaver’s 300th career win, Jim Thome’s 500th career HR, division-clinching games in 1983, 1993, and 2005, and many more.  

In addition, Angio was in the director’s chair for numerous Chicago Bulls seasons and Michael Jordan career-highlight moments, including the all-time NBA record 70th regular season win back in 1996, Jordan’s fresh out of retirement 55-point game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in 1995, along with Jordan career-high 69-point game back in 1990, among many others.

Among Angio’s numerous career honors include 13 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award wins, 56 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award nominations, three Illinois Silver Dome Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting, a national CableACE Award, along with the prestigious induction earlier this year into the Chicago/Midwest Emmys “Silver Circle,” recognizing 25 years or more of excellence and significant contributions to the Chicago broadcasting industry.
 

After bursting onto the scene in Rockford, Collin Delia generating buzz at Blackhawks training camp

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USA TODAY

After bursting onto the scene in Rockford, Collin Delia generating buzz at Blackhawks training camp

Collin Delia has emerged as an intriguing prospect for the Blackhawks. A year ago, nobody knew much about him at training camp. Now there's buzz around the 24-year-old and his role with the team going forward.

He appeared in only 28 games last year for the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League, but took control of his opportunity by going 17-7-2 with a 2.72 goals against average and .900 save percentage. It wasn't until the Calder Cup playoffs when he really started to raise eyebrows, helping the IceHogs reach the Conference Final with a 2.34 GAA and .924 save percentage.

With Corey Crawford out at the time and the revolving door at the backup position, it was interesting to think about Delia's chances at having a real shot in that role for the 2018-19 season.

"Why not?," Blackhawks senior director of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard said in May whether Delia could challenge for the backup spot this season. "You know, what not? That's what training camp is for. He's proven this year that he's a quality netminder. He's someone in our organization [who's] a high-level prospect for us and the more he plays at this level, the more experience he gains ... he's playing in high-level pressure games here and he's proven himself. 

"So going into training camp next year, he's got just as much of a chance as anybody. It's going to be interesting when camp opens. I think those things will be determined through the exhibition games and Stan [Bowman] and Joel [Quenneville] will have some tough decisions."

Training camp has been so far, so good for Delia. 

He stopped 17 of 19 shots in his preseason debut against the Ottawa Senators, and drew rave reviews from coach Joel Quenneville from it and his camp in general.

"He's done a real good job," Quenneville said. "Last year was a good year for him as far as getting stabilized and being a pro and getting a lot of net, and did a really good job of getting [Rockford] in the playoffs. He's coming off a special game the other night, and he can do some pretty neat things."

That's always a big confidence builder for a young kid, especially when it comes from a Hall of Fame coach.

"It's always nice to have praise from the coach," Delia told NBC Sports Chicago. "Honestly it's just one of those things in the preseason game, you've got to see where your game's at by playing in a couple games; happy to come in there and make stops, just continue to play at this level it's truly amazing."

A big part of why Delia has had the success he's had early on at this level is his mental strength. You have to have that as a goaltender. You especially have to have it when you go undrafted, like Delia did, to still have that belief in yourself that you can make it to the NHL one day.

"Obviously you have to be physically able to put your body through those rigors, but a lot of it is will power and mental fortitude," Delia said. "I think it's a balance between the mental capacity and physical ability and kind of the spiritual side. It's threefold. But if you don't have the mental fortitude to withstand ... if you go down a couple goals early, you've still got to keep playing like it's 0-0. You're trying to keep the ship going straight so to speak, but a big thing of being mentally sound is doing the same things when something positive happens and something negative happens. 

"For instance: you get scored on, you take a sip of water. We score, take a sip of water. Do your thing. Be balanced out, don't put so much emotion into the highs and lows. Keep it steady. So that's one way that I kind of approach it."

The Blackhawks brought in veteran Cam Ward this offseason to back up Crawford, who could practice with the team as early as this weekend but is unlikely to be ready by Opening Night, according to Quenneville. That means the backup to Ward for the time being is up for competition.

Forsberg likely still has the inside track because he hasn't done anything that would force the Blackhawks into giving up on his abilities and putting him on waivers, but Delia is preparing like he could have a shot as the No. 3 goalie on the organizational depth chart.

"I think that's always the goal, to play at the highest level, so you prepare for that always," Delia said. "It's something that I visualize in my off time. If that's the case, that's great. And if not, I'll still keep developing, still keep progressing because at the end of the day that's really what it's all about, continuing to get better. When it's your time it'll be your time. Just be patient and trust that the organization has your best interest at hand and I think when you have that trust, it's reciprocated with myself and the organization."

While Forsberg has also had a strong camp, the Blackhawks aren't ready to make a decision on that quite yet. There's still one more week of training camp with three preseason games remaining. And with teams across the league trimming their roster in half as the regular season approaches, these are the games where players will be evaluated the hardest.

So if Delia gets another chance to build his case, he could make it difficult on the coaching staff when they're ironing out the final roster.

"We'll see how it all plays out," Quenneville said. "Those things are going to get answered for us either by performance or time. 

"We're in a winning business. Sometimes it's who's more deserving. We know with goalies, time is probably beneficial, but at the same time, if a young kid's ready to go, we don't want to get in their way."