Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Cubs place Jason Heyward on 10-day DL for injured knuckle

The Chicago Cubs placed outfielder Jason Heyward?on the 10-day disabled list on Monday for a hand injury and called up right-hander? Dylan Floro to take his place.

Heyward injured a knuckle on his right hand while diving for a ball in the outfield on Friday. He will be eligible to come off the disabled list on May 16.

Heyward was off to a decent start in 2017, after having a year to forget last season. He was hitting .253 this season, with three home runs and a .333 on-base percentage, before going down with the knuckle injury. He also was playing stellar in right field.

Heyward injured his wrist last year, and adjustments to his mechanics led to his worst campaign at the plate. He hit a career-low .230, with just seven home runs.

Even after his wrist healed, Heyward never found his groove; he reworked his swing during the winter.

The Cubs want him fully healed before he returns.

Floro, 26, came up in the? Tampa Bay Rays?organization and made his major league debut last season. This year, he was 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in eight appearances for Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs have a need for extra arms after playing an 18-inning game on Sunday night, a day after starter Brett Anderson?recorded only one out before leaving an outing with back tightness. The Cubs now have nine relievers as they open a series against the Colorado Rockies.

The Cubs also traded outfielder Matt Szczur to the San Diego Padres on Monday for minor league righty Justin Hancock, who was drafted by Chicago general manager Jed Hoyer in 2011 when Hoyer held that same position with the Padres. Hancock, 26, has a career 3.91 ERA in seven minor league seasons. He has appeared in 116 games, starting 90 of them.

Draymond Green is really disappointed Cavs’ opponents going down easily

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is disappointed in the level of competition the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors have been able to put up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in these playoffs.

“I thought teams would compete a little harder,” Green said after shootaround on Monday. “I just watched San Antonio-Houston. I like to watch good basketball. When you watch Cleveland play, you’re only watching one side of the good basketball. That’s kind of weak.

“I like watching a good game, not even necessarily that it’s going to be a close game. I like to watch teams playing good basketball. When you watch them, you watch one team playing good basketball and everybody else do something. I don’t know what that something is.”

The Cavaliers are 8-0 this postseason and have beaten their opponents by an average of 8.3 points. Golden State is 7-0, beating the opposition by an average of 13.7 points.

Green says that even though they’re handling teams with more ease than the Cavaliers, he argues they’re facing stiffer challenges.

“Nah, but I think Utah is still playing good basketball,” he said. “Regardless if they win or not, I think we’re a better team. But at the same time, they still play a good brand of basketball.”

The All-Star power forward said the team isn’t looking ahead to a potential third consecutive NBA Finals matchup with the Cavaliers.

“No, we have a long way to go,” Green said. “We still got to get five more wins before we can even think about participating in the NBA Finals.”

Golden State has a chance to close out Utah on Monday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena and match Cleveland’s record.

“We don’t want to be 8-0 in the playoffs because Cleveland is 8-0. It doesn’t matter,” Green said.

News The Warriors’ Draymond Green calls Celtics’ Kelly OIynyk dirty player

Draymond Green has let it be known that he’s no fan of Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk.

“He’s dirty, a dirty player,” Green said on Uninterrupted’s “Dray Day” podcast. “I don’t respect guys like that. I know he’s not the greatest basketball player of all time, so maybe he feel like he got to do that, but you don’t have to do that. Just dirty. I don’t respect that, man. He’s dirty.”

Green took exception to Olynyk’s setting an illegal high screen on Washington’s Kelly Oubre in Game 3 between the Celtics and Wizards. Oubre was knocked down but then jumped up and charged at Olynyk, burying his forearm into his chest.

Olynyk fell backward onto the court, and teammates from both sides intervened to end the altercation. Oubre was hit with a flagrant 2, which resulted in an automatic ejection, and was suspended for Game 4.

Olynyk went unpunished.

“Kelly Olynyk is a dirty player, man,” Green said. “Olynyk caught [Oubre] in the face and the neck with a couple of elbows. That’s what I don’t understand. You let people get away with stuff, and then when somebody finally react … you penalize that guy. But you are not going to penalize [Olynyk] for continually elbowing him the face. … I don’t get that.”

Green also referenced Olynyk’s history of questionable plays.

Olynyk was the player who pulled the left arm of Cleveland Cavaliers?forward Kevin Love during a rebound chase in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. The play resulted in a dislocation of the shoulder and forced Love to undergo season-ending surgery.

“You’ve seen what he’s done,” Green told ESPN on Monday after shootaround. “Everybody’s seen what he’s done. I don’t really need to go [further] on that. Come on, man. There’s more cameras in these arenas now than it’s ever been. Everybody sees what goes on.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens disagreed with Green’s opinion of Olynyk.

“I’m around Kelly every day,” Stevens said. “I don’t agree with that assessment.”

Stevens also defended the Celtics forward on Sunday, saying he’s not sure where the “narrative” against Olynyk comes from.

“I guess he set a screen, it was called a common foul, it was reviewed by the league, and the league determined it was a common foul. Another guy rushed him and chucked him on the ground,” Stevens said. “I understand all the stories of the past, and I understand they’ve gotta talk about something with three days in between games. But we know Kelly. I’m around Kelly every day.”

Last year, a Los Angeles Times poll surveying coaches and players revealed that Milwaukee Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova was voted as the league’s dirtiest player.

“Everybody’s seen what he’s done too,” Green said to ESPN. “We know about him.”

But Green has also been ridiculed by many and called dirty for his previous kicking antics.

Green occasionally flails his foot up while attempting a shot from under the basket. He connected to the groin region of Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams a few times in last year’s playoffs.

He disputes the perception that he’s a dirty player.

“I haven’t kicked anybody,” Green told ESPN. “You kick somebody with your foot, not your shin. I don’t know who taught them how to kick if they’re kicking with their shin. You kick with your foot. That’s what I was always taught. Growing up where I grew up at, you kick somebody, you kick them with your foot. You don’t kick somebody with your shin. So I wouldn’t necessarily say I kicked somebody.”

Green argues that there are players who are crafty at seeking a competitive advantage and then there are players who will do anything to get an edge. Olynyk falls in the latter category, Green said.

“There’s a difference, big difference between knowing all the tricks [and being dirty]. … Knowing all the tricks ain’t doing stuff to hurt people,” Green said on his podcast. “[Olynyk] yanked [Love’s] shoulder out of place. I don’t roll with that, man. He’s just dirty. You know veteran tricks is grabbing an arm so a guy can’t get there to block a shot or cutting some guy off so he can’t get there to contest. But you’re not doing nothing to hurt nobody. This dude [Olynyk] be out there trying to hurt people.”

With Power and Precision, Yankees Take Another From the Cubs In Baseball

The Chicago Cubs pounded baseballs over the wall and had the best starting rotation in baseball last season. But what they did better than any other team was play defense — and they did it by a historic margin.

With their effective use of shifts and Gold Glove Award winners at first base in Anthony Rizzo and right field in Jason Heyward, a worthy Gold Glove candidate in shortstop Addison Russell and the defensive dynamo Javier Baez at second base, the Cubs converted batted balls into outs better than any team had in 34 years, according to Baseball Prospectus.

The Yankees had the solution in their 11-6 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night. They simply hit the ball where the Cubs could not reach it — spraying one after another down the foul lines during a five-run first inning and a couple of others over the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field for good measure.

It made for a comfortable night for the rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who allowed just three hits and two earned runs in six and two-thirds innings as the Yankees won their fourth in a row and remained atop the American League East.

Starlin Castro, a former Cub, continued to make his return to Wrigley a memorable one. He hit one of the balls that ended up where no Cub could catch it, into the left-field bleachers for a two-run homer, and he has five hits in the series.

Cubs fans, as is their tradition for home runs by the visiting team, tossed the ball back onto the field. Aaron Hicks received a similar treatment after his three-run homer in the eighth.

It was fourth hit of the night for Hicks, whose turnaround from last season, when he hit .217, embodies the Yankees’ early reversal from a year ago. Hicks, who has replaced the injured Jacoby Ellsbury in the lineup since Monday, is hitting .355. Manager Joe Girardi was reluctant to play him last season, but now he is seeking out ways to get him at-bats.

“I give him a lot of credit because he wasn’t happy during spring training,” Girardi said, referring to his decision to award the right field spot to Aaron Judge.

Hicks, a former first-round draft pick, did not argue with Girardi’s assessment that he has matured. “I have more of a plan, an idea of what I want to do in every at-bat, and it’s been working out so far,” Hicks said.

As Hicks reached first base after his home run, he pointed to C. C. Sabathia in the dugout. Before Hicks had come to the plate, Sabathia had suggested that Hicks — who at the time had five home runs to his name this season — had not hit one in a while. Hicks had shrugged the idea off.

“Then I ended up hitting it, and I got excited,” he said.

But the Yankees built their lead not with power but with placement.

Brett Gardner, who won the series opener on Friday with a two-out, two-strike, three-run homer in the ninth inning, ripped the third pitch he saw in the first inning between Rizzo and the first-base line for a double

“Rizzo covers a lot of ground, not just front and back but side to side,” Gardner said. “When he dove for it, I wasn’t sure. If he gets that, who knows how that changes the inning?”

Hicks then beat out a bunt, which he had laid down to move the runner up, and Gardner raced home when pitcher Brett Anderson threw the ball past Rizzo. Castro drove in Hicks by slicing the first pitch of his at-bat just inside the right-field line. After Judge struck out, Gary Sanchez lashed a single a few feet inside the left-field line past a lunging Kris Bryant, scoring Castro.

Didi Gregorius followed by dropping a soft liner into shallow left field. Chase Headley drove home Sanchez and Gregorius when his liner landed down the right-field line for a double.

Anderson then left with what the Cubs announced was a low back injury. He had recorded one out.

Although the Yankees jumped to an 8-0 lead, and restored the margin to 11-3 after Hicks hit his home run in the eighth, the Cubs made the Yankees sweat a little when they pushed across three runs in the eighth before Adam Warren replaced Tommy Layne and escaped further damage by striking out Ben Zobrist with runners at second and third.

The Cubs, already thin on pitching, waved the white flag in the ninth — they sent catcher Miguel Montero to the mound. After walking Sanchez, he got Gregorius to ground into a forceout, retired Headley on a liner and, after a walk by Chris Carter, got Rob Refsnyder to fly out to center.

As Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. camped under the ball, the crowd rose to its feet and gave Montero a standing ovation. He responded by tipping his cap as he jogged back to the dugout, having performed a feat the Cubs’ starter could not: getting three outs.

INSIDE PITCH

The Yankees could have Jacoby Ellsbury back in center field and Matt Holliday at first base on Sunday night. Ellsbury has not played since he injured his elbow crashing into the Yankee Stadium wall on Monday. Holliday, the designated hitter, has not played in the field this season. … Aaron Judge, who was moved into the cleanup spot for the first time this season, was hitless in five at-bats on Saturday night.