White Sox

Vanderbilt's Jenkins "would love" to be a Bull

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Vanderbilt's Jenkins "would love" to be a Bull

For a team that won 50 games in the regular season, and finished first in its division and conference, the Chicago Bulls have plenty of questions to answer this off-season.Perhaps the biggest need after securing viable scoring replacements for Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, is gaining financial flexibility under the cap.One player who could help the Bulls in both areas is Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins, who recently visited with the Bulls' brass and came away impressed.You see Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, all the great coaches there, the championship banners, so its definitely motivation for me, Jenkins said at last weekend's NBA Pre-Draft Combine. I would love to play for them.The 6-foot-4 junior enters the NBA Draft as perhaps the most lethal outside shooter. He was named an honorable mention All-American in 2011, and a third team All-American in 2012. In both seasons Jenkins was named to the All-SEC team, leading the conference in scoring both years (19.5 points in 2011, 19.0 in 2012).The Bulls should have their pick of available shooting guards when their pick rolls around, including Kentucky sophomore Doron Lamb, UC-Santa Barbara senior Orlando Johnson and Jenkins. But the Commodore's prolific outside shooting (he led the nation in 3-point makes a year ago) and his experience (4 NCAA games and an SEC Tournament Championship) could give Jenkins the edge."I think every shooting guard in the draft thinks they're the best shooter, but I definitely work at it, to be the best," Jenkins said.The Bulls also would receive some financial flexibility by selecting Jenkins, or any shooting guard, in the first round. Doing so would give the Bulls the ability to decline team options on shooting guards Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.Korver is set to make 5 million in 2012-'13, and Brewer is set to make 4.37 million.The Bulls' selection of Jimmy Butler with the 30th overall pick in last year's draft gives the Bulls a similar, cheaper option to Brewer. Butler will make just over 1 million in 2012, followed by team options of 1.174 million and 2.119 million in 2013 and 2014, respectively.Thanks to the NBA's slotted first round salaries, whomever the Bulls select will make an approximate 1.028 million and 1.105 million guaranteed the next two seasons. That would be almost 4 million per year cheaper than Korver.While a rookie, potentially Jenkins, would not bring as much short term value as Korver would, the salary cap space it would open up makes sense for the long-term.Gar Forman told Bulls.com the team intends to re-sign restricted free agent center Omir Asik this off-season, but they will need to have available cap room freed up should another team sign the 7-footer to a tender offer.That could mean declining C.J. Watson's 3.7 million team option, but without Rose for a good chunk of next year, Watson could be a valuable piece for the Bulls.A more likely option is the Bullsshoring up the shooting guard position at a cheaper price, potentially through the draft with a player like Jenkins.They said they need a shooter, a guy that can really open things up for D-Rose and just really open up the offense, Jenkins said at the Pre-Draft Combine.Forman insists the team will not draft based on need, rather selecting the best player available. But Jenkins, an obvious team need, also could be the best player left when the Bulls are on the clock June 28.

If all goes well, Yoan Moncada could be back with White Sox this week

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USA TODAY

If all goes well, Yoan Moncada could be back with White Sox this week

Yoan Moncada's return to the White Sox could come as soon as Thursday.

The White Sox third baseman has been on the injured list for the entire month of August while recovering from a hamstring strain, but he could be back in the everyday lineup soon, according to manager Rick Renteria, who provided an update to reporters Monday in Minnesota.

Heading into Monday, Moncada has played three games on his current rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte, only one of which at third base. He went 4-for-12 in those three games, with a home run, two RBIs, a run scored and a pair of strikeouts.

Moncada's return to the lineup for the start of this weekend's four-game set with the Texas Rangers would be a big lift for the White Sox offense. He's been the team's best hitter this season, with a .301/.358/.535 slash line to go along with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in 97 games.

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Tim Anderson's late summer surge

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USA TODAY

Tim Anderson's late summer surge

A stands for April. A stands for August.

A stands for Anderson.

Just as Tim Anderson torched pitching in the season’s initial month, he’s at it again here in late summer.

Anderson’s 30 hits in 17 August games are tied with Gio Urshela for the MLB lead (entering Monday), and he’s hitting a remarkable .411 for the month. What makes it even more remarkable is that the .411 includes an 0-for-8 in a doubleheader last week against the Astros. If you took that away, he’s hitting .500.

Anderson is riding a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games; it’s the third time this season he had multiple hits in at least four straight games. He had four straight multi-hit performances earlier this month as well as from March 31-April 7.

Whereas Tim took home American League Player of the Month honors for March-April, he’s even ahead of that pace for August in some respects.

  Games BA Multi-hit games
March-April 23 .375 9
August 17 .411 10

But how is he doing it?

He’s cutting down on his strikeouts.

2019 strikeout rate

  K %
March-July 21.5
August 14.5

And when he’s swinging at balls in the zone, he’s not missing.

Contact% of balls in zone

  Zone Contact %
March-July 87.9
August 93.3

He has been particularly deadly against breaking stuff.

2019 vs. breaking pitches

  Batting Avg. Slugging
March-July .291 .437
August .500 (11-22) .636

And he has returned to his lefty-crushing ways.

2019 vs. lefties

  Batting Avg
March-July .287 (23-80)
August .480 (12-25)

When Anderson suffered a high ankle sprain on June 25 in Boston, it was uncertain as to whether he’d be able to build on a breakout 2019 season. He showed signs of rust when he went 0-for-7 in his first two games back July 30-31 against the Mets. But it’s looking more and more like he just needed a few games to shake the rust off. Conveniently, his return to form coincides with the change of month. Let’s be honest, the fact that it’s August has nothing to do with anything.

 

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