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  • AAF teams will

    CHICAGO — At times this season Chris Carson Jersey , the Chicago Cubs have struggled to produce offensively, especially when it comes to situational hitting that turned hits into runs.
    But as the Cubs prepare to open a brief two-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday at Wrigley Field, any concerns about run production seems to have subsided. At least for now.
    The Cubs will carry a four-game winning streak into Tuesday after producing 46 runs during their winning streak, which they extended with an 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
    Although the bullpen struggled to protect leads at times, the Cubs’ bats did more than their fair share. Now, the Cubs will attempt to remain hot against the Tigers, who have won two straight but have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
    The Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Monday.
    After Sunday’s victory, the Cubs found themselves leading the majors in hitting (.266) and on-base percentage (.345). Despite the times this season when the hits weren’t coming, the Cubs haven’t experienced any change in confidence now that they’re averaging more than 10 per game in their last four games.
    “We’ve been the same offense for quite some time now,” Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber said Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Things happen. We’re just going to keep this going.”
    Cubs pitchers have enjoyed plenty of run support of late, which is something Tuesday’s starter, Kyle Hendricks Jeremy Kerley Jersey , wouldn’t mind seeing continue against the Tigers. Hendricks (5-8, 4.21 ERA) has experienced inconsistency this season and has battled his mechanics all the way through.
    Hendricks went 1-4 in June and is coming off an outing in which he allowed a season-worst six runs in just 2 2/3 innings on June 27 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    He hopes to right the ship in a new month against a team that has struggled offensively during their recent skid. Hendricks will face the Tigers for the first time in his career.
    “I’m just searching right now — it’s just bad,” Hendricks told reporters after his last start, according to the team’s official website. “Mechanics, I’m trying to focus mentally and going pitch to pitch and I’m doing that, but something’s just off. I’m searching now.”
    The Tigers’ back-to-back victories come after their losing streak reached a season-high 11 games. With Miguel Cabrera out for the season and other veterans like Victor Martinez struggling at the plate, manager Ron Gardenhire has been forced to work with a lineup full of young hitters.
    Before snapping the skid with a victory Sunday over the Blue Jays, the Tigers finished June hitting .222.
    “We’ve had a lot of struggles offensively, for sure,” Gardenhire said Sunday, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I think our pitching has held up OK. (The) bullpen had its good and bad moments. Offensively, we’ve really scuffled, especially the past couple week here. We all know that. Offensively Roger Lewis Jersey , we have to get a lot better. More consistently.”
    On Monday, the Tigers placed closer Shane Greene on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Joe Jimenez, who is considered the Tigers’ closer of the future, will move into the role for the time being, Gardenhire said. Jiménez has a 2.77 ERA, 44 strikeouts and nine walks in 42 appearances covering 39 innings.
    Michael Fulmer (3-7, 4.20) will start Tuesday for the Tigers. Like Hendricks, Fulmer struggled in June, losing three of his five starts with a no-decision. Fulmer will face the Cubs for the first time in his career.
    When the Alliance of American Football starts play in February, it hopes to put players on the field in front of fans who cheered for them in college.
    J.K. McKay, head of football operations for the AAF, told PFT that the AAF’s top priority in stocking the rosters for its teams will be to keep players who played their college football near the AAF’s eight cities close to home.
    “You want to keep local kids home when you can,” McKay said. “It creates fan interest. Our Birmingham team will have Alabama and Auburn Breshad Perriman Jersey , and that will draw some fan interest.”
    The AAF will have teams in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Tempe, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego. For players who didn’t go to college near any of those cities, they’ll be allocated to AAF teams based on the last NFL roster they were on. Previous rival leagues, including the USFL and XFL, have taken a similar approach.
    “It just makes sense,” McKay said. “You’re bringing in guys people know. From a marketing standpoint it’s good, it allows players to stay home. Other leagues have done it and we’re absolutely committed to it and excited about it.”
    McKay said the AAF expects to add a lot of good players in September, picking up training camp players who didn’t make the NFL’s roster cutdown from 90 to 53. The base deal in the AAF will be a three-year Tedric Thompson Jersey , $250,000 contract. Although any player who has the opportunity to play in the NFL is going to choose that over the AAF, McKay said the league has a good idea right now for who some of its top players will be.
    “We have a pretty good sense now,” McKay said. “We’ve brought in some really excellent general managers who are experienced in the NFL. We can look now and put together a pretty good list of who you have right now.”
    AAF teams will have 75 players on training camp rosters and 50 players on regular season rosters. All eight teams will open a joint training camp at the same location in early January, then break camp and practice in their home cities before the AAF’s inaugural season opens on February 9.
    One thing the AAF will not do is bring in college freshmen or sophomores who are not yet eligible for the NFL draft. McKay said he doesn’t think players are ready for pro football until they’re three years out of high school.
    “From a health and safety standpoint, we’re concerned about the idea of having a kid come sooner than that,” McKay said.
    McKay said he thinks there are enough good football players not in the NFL that the AAF can put on high-quality football.
    “The quality of football will determine what we do,” McKay said. “When guys play I think the NFL will take notice and fans will say these guys are good.”
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