Blackhawks

Rose not fully practicing, but taking steps

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Rose not fully practicing, but taking steps

NEW YORKThere continues to be plenty of speculation of Derrick Roses return becoming more and more imminent, but at the present time, the 24-year-old superstar still isnt close to being a full participant in practice, confirmed Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Rose, who has been going through the teams early group walk-through sessions before his teammates begin practice, also participated in light shooting drills at the end of Thursdays practice at the Berto Center.

However, it doesnt mean that the former league MVP is anywhere close to coming back, despite his daily desire to push the limits of recovery, as a person familiar with the situation recounted to CSNChicago.com.

Its going to be a while. Hes just got to go step by step. This is all just the normal course of his rehab. Hes doing fine, Thibodeau explained Friday morning, prior to the Bulls shootaround at Madison Square Garden, in advance of their evening game against the East-leading Knicks. Theres not any urgency other than Derricks doing everything he can to handle his rehab and thats all his focus is on right now, and thats all we want it to be on.

He did parts of practice, the coach continued, referring to reports that Rose returned to practice Thursday. Theres no contact, so thats where he is right now.

I think hes in a great place. I think he understands what hes trying to get accomplished. Hes handled that part great.

It should be noted that Roses return may be partly contingent on how the Bulls perform, as the theory that if the currently 14-10 team isnt playing well by the time hes healthy enough to come back to the courtto avoid Rose having to shoulder a heavy burden, if the Bulls are battling for a playoff seed or even to qualify for the postseasonit will delay his return, according to a source. Thibodeau shed some light on the process from his end Tuesday.

Rose will return to full practice, including the contact portion at some point. You dont go from A to Z. you have to go through each step and when he handles one step well, well move on to the next one. But you have to be patient with this. This is the type of injury that takes time, he said. Evaluating his readiness entails your medical people, obviously Derrick. Those are the big hurdles youve got to get past and hes got to be comfortable on the floor. Its right where we thought it would be and this is what you have to go through. Were going to be patient and when hes ready to go, hes ready to go.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

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

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USA TODAY

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.