Fading wide receiver
"(I'm) motivated, determined and ready to work," he told The Tennessean. "I am ready to bring it all and lay it on the line, man. I just want to get back in the rhythm of being talked about as one of the best receivers in the league, as I was in the past. ... I need to go out there and prove it. No need to say words."
Nicks enjoyed successive 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011 and tallied 24 touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL. But he faded to the point in which he caught a career-low 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns a year ago.
"I feel like where I am at in my career - I just turned 27 - I feel like I still have a lot in my tank," he said. "I wanted to go somewhere and prove I can still be a No. 1 receiver and be the guy I was in the past, statistically and being a guy that likes to make plays and be on the feld consistently.
"With six years of experience, playoff experience and a Super Bowl, I thnk I can definitely bring (leadership) to a team. And I want to compete for Super Bowl teams here."
"The first three innings were really good. That was good to see," manager Buck Showalter said, per MASNsports.com. "I want to hear what Bud has to say before we decide what we're going to do next. I've got an idea, but I want to hear it from Bud first."
Norris went 1-4 with a 9.88 ERA in six starts before going on the disabled list. Showalter wouldn't speculate about Norris' role upon his return until speaking with him.
"We all know what he's capable of as a starting pitcher for us and we'd like to get him back to that point," Showalter said. "That's a priority. See where the season takes us."
First baseman/designated hitter
Black boasts a fine slash line of .324/.457/.568 with 24 RBI in 34 games with Charlotte. But the 27 year old has yet to play in a big-league game.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft posted a .344/.428/.634/1.061 slash line and 18 home runs in 72 games last year, and he has continued to rake at Double-A Tennessee in 2015. He has a .307/.436/.584/1.020 slash line and 10 home runs in 42 games.
Schwarber's smooth transition to pro baseball has Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinking the catcher/outfielder could be ready to help the major-league club this season.
“He’s a very, very mature at-bat, and he’s doing better behind the plate, too, from what I understand," Maddon said Sunday. “You ask him, he’ll tell you he can. And that’s a big part of it, too. He’s really confident.
“He’s definitely, definitely got the hitting chip. Every time I look up at the scoreboard at home, it’s like: Schwarber went 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBI. Even if it’s 1 for 5, it’s like a game-winning RBI.”
With the way Schwarber is progressing, he will likely move on to Triple-A this season. However, a September callup might not be out of the question.
"It’s possible," Maddon said. "Anything’s possible."
Ross has spent most of the year with Boston, but has pitched just once for the Sox since a miserable appearance on May 8 that sent his ERA soaring from 3.86 to 6.17.