Cubs

Yankees' pitcher injures self falling down steps

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Yankees' pitcher injures self falling down steps

From Comcast SportsNet
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The New York Yankees took their first misstep of 2012 when All-Star setup man David Robertson sprained his right foot when he fell down stairs while moving boxes in his spring training home. An initial X-ray was negative, and the reliever was taken a hospital for an MRI Thursday. The accident occurred Wednesday night, and his foot started throbbing an hour or two later. He was put in a walking boot to make the foot more comfortable. Manager Joe Girardi said Robertson was limping from what he described as a mid-foot sprain that caused the pitcher to walk gingerly. "I'm concerned," Girardi said. "It hurt him to walk, (and) you assume that he's going to be down a little bit of time even if everything comes back OK. Now that doesn't mean he wouldn't have time to get ready for the season. But you've got to start over a little bit." Girardi said if Robertson were sidelined for two weeks or less, he still could be ready for the Yankees' opener at Tampa Bay on April 6. "If it's going to happen, let it happen now," he said. Robertson had been slated to make his second spring training appearance Thursday against Toronto at Dunedin. The 26-year-old was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 70 games in 2011. "Last year, he did a tremendous job," Mariano Rivera said. "So we're expecting something good out of him this year, also." If Robertson isn't ready for opening day, Rafael Soriano likely would move up to New York's eighth-inning pitcher. New York has bad memories of pitchers and injured feet. Chien-Ming Wang sprained his right foot while running the bases at Houston on June 15, 2008, and missed the rest of the season. Wang struggled to a 1-6 record with a 9.64 ERA when he returned the following year. He needed shoulder surgery that sidelined him until last July, when he came back to the major leagues with the Washington Nationals. Girardi said the injury occurred when Robertson missed a step. "They were empty boxes. They weren't even heavy boxes," Girardi said. "I told him to kick them down the stairs the next time." Notes: Rivera threw 32 pitches in his second batting practice session. He likely will make his exhibition debut Sunday.

Here comes Kimbrel: Closer expected to join Cubs Thursday

Here comes Kimbrel: Closer expected to join Cubs Thursday

Here comes Craig Kimbrel.

Cubs fans can get used to hearing those words, as the closer is on his way to Chicago, the team confirmed Wednesday evening.

Kimbrel wrapped up his minor-league rehab stint with a scoreless outing Tuesday and is expected to be activated ahead of Thursday's homestand finale against the Atlanta Braves, the team he began his career with.

There is no word yet on what the corresponding roster move will be, as the Cubs have a very tough decision on their hands. Unless a trade or injury pops up, the move very well might be sending rookie Adbert Alzolay back down to the minor leagues. 

The Cubs have been operating with a six-man rotation recently, with Alzolay making his first big-league start Tuesday night as a part of that. But that's also left the bullpen a bit short-handed, featuring six veterans who are either out of minor-league options or on big-league deals and cannot be sent down:

Pedro Strop
Steve Cishek
Brandon Kintzler
Brad Brach
Mike Montgomery
Tony Barnette

The same applies for the entire rotation outside of Alzolay.

The Cubs could send down Kyle Ryan, but he's their only true left-hander out of the bullpen (Montgomery mostly serves as a long man) and he's been pitching a lot better of late (2.08 ERA in June). 

Alzolay, of course, hasn't done anything worthy of a demotion, either. In his two outings in the big leagues over the last week, he's put up a 2.08 ERA and 0.92 WHIP while striking out 9 batters and permitting only 2 hits in 8.2 innings.

The Cubs haven't made any set plans for Alzolay's next outing, but Joe Maddon admitted it could come in the minor leagues. 

The organization also wants to be careful with his workload, as he pitched only 39.2 innings a year ago due to injury. He's already thrown 44.2 innings this year.

"Of course you want to keep him on a schedule," Maddon said. "We're talking this all the way through — he can do it here, he might have to do it somewhere else. We're not sure yet. But you also have to be mindful of the innings that he's pitching this year based on what kind of a jump you want him to endure this year. 

"There's a lot of different components about these discussions specifically. Definitely showing you that he can pitch here. No question he can pitch here. But now we have to figure out how to put him in the mix in a way that's beneficial to him and us. We're not done discussing that, but it's possible both ways."

The Cubs will have other roster crunch decisions to make in the near future as both Kyle Hendricks and Carl Edwards Jr. are recovering from their respective injuries.

Both right-handers threw a bullpen at Wrigley Field Wednesday and progressing toward a return.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Craziest game of the season? This was it

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Craziest game of the season? This was it

It was a game that had just about everything: five runs off Chris Sale, Jon Jay scoring from second on an infield single, a game-winning home run by Jose Abreu in the ninth, and so many other crazy things in between.

Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, Chris Kamka and Vinnie Duber break it all down. Abreu's heroics and how Scott Podsednik predicted it (2:00), the wizardry of these White Sox and their record (6:10), Yoan Moncada takes himself out of the game after getting hit on the knee by a Chris Sale pitch (10:30), Jon Jay's heads-up dash for home (15:10), Tim Anderson's ankle injury (21:20), what roster changes are coming (24:00) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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