WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Cobb the favorite to be kick returner
If the Green Bay Packers were to open the season tomorrow, Randall Cobb would be the team’s kick returner. That’s what coach Mike McCarthy said after practice today, the team’s fifth workout at Packer Training Camp. There’s been talk that the Packers want to take Cobb off the return teams, so he can focus on his role as a receiver with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver gone. McCarthy said Cobb has done an excellent job, and he would deserve the starting nod at this point. Cobb has averaged 26-and-a-half yards per kick return, and just over 10-yards on punts during his first two seasons with the Pack. Jeremy Ross showed some potential last year, but McCarthy says he’s looking for someone more consistent. Others have tried out, but they have not been reliable in handling kicks. Rookie Johnathan Franklin dropped a punt and a kickoff at today’s practice. Also, defensive end Johnny Jolly left today’s practice early with an injured ankle. Linebacker Dezman Moses also missed the workout with a toe injury.
The Milwaukee Bucks confirmed this afternoon that they traded point guard Brandon Jennings to Detroit for point guard Brandon Knight and front-liners Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov. The trade will be finalized once all four players pass physicals. Jennings, who’s playing in a charity tournament in Toronto, said he’s happy with the trade – but he wanted to be “under the radar screen” in his comments for now. Jennings gets 24-million dollars in a three-year deal. The 21-year-old Knight has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
Milwaukee Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo was put on the 15-day disabled list today, with a tight left hamstring suffered in yesterday’s Game-One victory against the Cubs in Chicago. He was originally hurt on a diving catch of a pop-up bunt – and he later came up lame while making a pitch to Darwin Barney. Second baseman Scooter Gennett will take Gallardo’s roster spot for now. Gennett was called up yesterday as an extra player that’s allowed during scheduled double-headers. He had been optioned back to Triple-“A” Nashville after last night’s second game – and he was recalled today.
Wily Peralta will try to win his fourth decision in his last six, when the Milwaukee Brewers close out a four-game series against the Cubs in Chicago tonight. The rookie right-hander has found his stride after a rough start to the season. He went 3-and-1 in six starts with a stingy E-R-A of point-eight-seven, before he was roughed up at Colorado last Friday night. He gave up eight runs, five earned, in just three-and-two-thirds innings. Peralta is 7-and-10 on the year, with a four-point-five-four E-R-A. Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson will start for Chicago. He’s 6-and-11 with a four-point-eight-nine E-R-A. Jackson is 3-and-1 in his last five starts. He gave up two runs in six-and-two-thirds innings of his last start at San Francisco last Friday night. Milwaukee is going for its first-ever four-game sweep of the Cubs. The Crew has won seven-of-its-last night matchups against Chicago. However, Milwaukee is still two-and-a-half games behind the next-to-last-place Cubs in the National League Central Division.
Interdivisional play continues tonight in the Northwoods League, as each team begins a new series. The Lakeshore Chinooks, who lead the South Division, have a home contest in Mequon against the Rochester Honkers. Waterloo, which leads the North, heads to Battle Creek. Also tonight, Eau Claire hosts Thunder Bay. The Wisconsin Woodchucks are at home in Wausau against Duluth. Wisconsin Rapids hosts Alexandria. Madison entertains Willmar. La Crosse is at home against Saint Cloud. And Green Bay hosts Mankato. The South Division winners last night were Green Bay, La Crosse, and Eau Claire. Lakeshore played to a 1-1 tie with Waterloo after nine innings. That contest will be completed next Tuesday. Lakeshore now has a two-game lead over Madison in the South. Waterloo has a three-game edge over Saint Cloud in the North for the second half.
Two Wisconsin women’s hockey assistants will be on opposite benches when the U-S and Canada square off in a series of games for players under-18. Earlier this week, Jackie Friesen was named as an assistant coach for her native Canada. Today, her fellow Badgers’ assistant Dan Koch was named to a similar role for the U-S squad. Both teams will hold evaluation camps leading up to the Under-18 U-S-and-Canadian series, to be played August 22nd-through-25th.