Hamilton's return to Bulls lineup imminent?


Hamilton's return to Bulls lineup imminent?

Although Rip Hamilton wasnt available to talk to the media following Monday mornings Bulls shootaround at the Berto Center, its clear that the 13-year NBA veteran shooting guard is making progress in his recovery from a right-shoulder injury.

Hes getting closer and closer. Hes doing well, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau explained about Hamilton, who has been a full participant in recent team practice and shootaround sessions. Hes been engaged, hes been around. He had misfortune of getting hurt three times. Hopefully hell be healthy for good now.

Chimed in fellow injured backcourt partner Derrick Rose: Hes looking good. Hes moving better than I am right now. Hes in the practice. Im just on the side, just watching. But hes moving good. If anything, I think that hell be able to play any given night.

Hes shooting a lot of shots. You saw him over there, after practice shooting. Hes getting back to his regular self.

Hamiltons been absent so often this season that after a huge buzz when he was acquired following the end of the lockout, hes been almost an afterthought as of late, but the former All-Star has been working diligently to return to the lineup and according to sources familiar with his situation, he could be playing sooner than many expect, as hes now shooting from range again, an important part of his recovery process, since he initially didnt have a full range of motion in his shooting arm. In an ideal world, Thibodeau would want both Rose and Hamilton to take on contact in practice before playing again, but in this stretch run of the condensed schedule, that may not occur.

Right now were not doing a whole lot of contact in practice either. But theyre doing more and more each day, the coach said. Just the fact that theyre doing more and more on the court, Im watching how theyre responding to things. Each day they do more and more, then the next day there havent been any repercussions, so thats good. Step by step, but Im encouraged.

While Rose vowed to return when he feels ready, Thibodeau explained that Hamiltons return will be a decision by committee.

He has to be cleared for contact by the medical people first and of course, he has input in that because he only knows how he actually feels, so itll be Rip, the doctors, the trainers and once they clear him, then hell go, he said.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season


It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.