Complaints from patients double at University Hospital Limerick

first_img TAGShealthLimerick City and CountyNewspolitics University Hospital LimerickCOMPLAINTS from patients about their experience at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) have more than doubled from 281 in 2015 to 600 last year.And, according to Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan, the big rise in patient complaints is very concerning and shows much more needs to be done to address the myriad of problems at the hospital.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan.Pic. Emma Jervis/ Press 22“Figures I received from the HSE show a massive 113 per cent rise in the number of complaints about University Hospital Limerick over the past number of years,” he told the Limerick Post.“Unfortunately this comes as no surprise, given the desperate overcrowding crisis that has plagued the hospital in recent years.“UHL is the most congested hospital in the country, and despite the best efforts and excellent work of staff, nurses and doctors, patients simply aren’t getting the quality of care expected due to the overcrowding crisis at the hospital.”Deputy Quinlivan said he has heard from patients and their families “that the hospital is at breaking point, and I have met with nurses and their union representatives who described the huge stress staff are under at the hospital, and how difficult it is for sick patients to be treated there.“The lack of response from the Minister for Health to the myriad of problems in UHL is shameful.”The Sinn Féin deputy added that more than 2,200 compliments have also been lodged with the HSE about UHL over the past few years, “no doubt reflecting the widespread admiration Limerick people have for the nurses, doctors and staff working in UHL in very difficult circumstances.“It’s incredibly important to recognise the trojan work done by staff at the hospital,” he added.Responding to the increase in the number of complaints, a UL Hospitals Group spokesman said that having appropriate patient feedback and intelligence systems was an essential component of quality assurance.“At UHL, we foster a culture of openness and transparency and we encourage and welcome all feedback. Only by having the fullest possible picture of patient complaints can we take the appropriate action.“In November 2016, we strengthened our complaints system by introducing a new way of reporting complaints at point of contact so that all verbal complaints, no matter how serious in nature, are now captured.   Prior to this, mainly written complaints were being recorded.“The increase in the number of complaints since late 2016 is in part due to the introduction of this system which captures all feedback. We embrace this increase in complaints as an opportunity to improve our services to both patients and their families.”The statement continued that the number of complaints recorded can also be put in the context of overall activity at UHL.“For example in 2017, there were 405 complaints recorded at UHL. In this year, there were approximately 150,000 outpatient attendances, approximately 68,000 Emergency Department attendances, approximately 30,000 inpatient discharges and approximately 37,000 day-case patients.” Advertisement Limerick Post Show | Careers & Health Sciences Event for TY Students Facebook Limerick on Covid watch list WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Linkedincenter_img Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Email Twitter Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites NewsHealthComplaints from patients double at University Hospital LimerickBy Bernie English – June 29, 2019 826 Previous articleLimerick Minor team for Munster Final namedNext article3-year old girl being treated for “minor injuries” after apartment balcony fall Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Print Local backlash over Aer Lingus threatlast_img read more

‘Open the books’ rally held at Ithaca College in support of employees who were fired

first_imgITHACA (WBNG/WENY) — Two organizations came together and hosted a rally in opposition to the recent and impending firings of Ithaca College faculty and staff. “As a student, I couldn’t just sit by and let them make these decisions about my community and my friends and mentors without stepping up and telling them it’s really not okay,” she said. One student organizer, Tali Abraham, said the firings have started to affect her learning experience. With the pandemic changing the way learning is done at different levels, many Ithaca College staff members and faculty have lost their jobs, or are expected to in the future. Around 60 individuals, a mixture of students, staff, and faculty, attended the rally. center_img Ithaca College planned to cut faculty and staff before the pandemic began, but as COVID cases rise, the number of budget cuts from the college do as well. Many protesters expressed their thoughts regarding the lack of transparency they felt the college has had throughout the pandemic. Attendees shared their concerns over the well-being of the employees at the college, and concerns for the school itself, after being affected by the coronavirus. last_img read more

Miner remanded on firearm, ammo charges

first_imgA 21-year-old resident of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) was on Wednesday remanded to prison by Magistrate Fabayo Azore on two charges relating to possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.Shaid Allison appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to the charges which stated that on October 21, 2018 at Bourda, Georgetown, he had in his possession an unlicensed .32 pistol, along with six matching rounds of ammunition. A third charge stated that on the same date at the same location, the miner attempted to commit an armed robbery on Julian McAlmon.The defendant denied all three charges.The Police Prosecutor objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the offences.Magistrate Azore upheld the prosecution’s submission and remanded Allison to prison on the first two charges, but granted him bail of $100,000 on the third charge. The case was adjourned to November 28, 2018.last_img read more

Evolutionists Find Pegasus in the Gene Epic

first_imgWhen you conjure with genes, you never know what might appear.  Japanese scientists, publishing in PNAS,1 tried to find evolution in mammalian retroposons and found an unexpected relationship.  New Scientist explains: “You could call it a batty idea, but bats seem to be more closely related to horses than cows are.”    “Despite the recent large-scale efforts dedicated to comprehensive phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences,” the trio said, “several relationships among mammalian orders remain controversial.”  They compared mammalian orders using L1 retroposons, and that’s when the unexpected affinity between bats and horses jumped out.  They even suggested a new name for the super-order that contains the two: “Pegasoferae.”1Nishihara, Hasegawa and Okada, “Pegasoferae, an unexpected mammalian clade revealed by tracking ancient retroposon insertions,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 19, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0603797103.What a great subplot to add to endless tale.  There must have been some truth to the old Greek myths after all.  Centaurs cannot be far behind.    More funny than the mythical fantasyland conjured up by the evolutionary molecular Chaldeans is the seriousness with which they admit that their evolutionary trees remain controversial despite large-scale efforts to resolve them.  “We need to look at fossils from a new point of view, because there must have been a common ancestor of bats, horses and dogs,” one of them said.  There must have been, you see; this is the deductive premise of evolutionary research, which cannot be questioned.  (We agree about the advice to look at fossils from a new point of view.)    So we must keep trying to find the magic spells in the DNA code that bring back the tree of life and of knowledge of good and evil.  We can’t keep the horses and cows together any longer, even though they both eat hay and work weekend gigs as extras in Westerns.  Maybe if we put bat wings on this horse, the idea will fly.  But then each new proposal yields similar interjections of surprise: “I think this will be a surprise for many scientists,” one of the researchers remarked; “No one expected this.”    Oh, really?*(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How Minnesota Became the Land of 10,000 Startups

first_imgTags:#minnesota#startups#twin cities What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How to Get Started in China and Have Success Minnesota is no stranger to big business. It’s home to such names as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Ecolab — all of which have made their homes in Minnesota for generations and have become a source of pride. But a new industry — technology — is taking Minnesota by storm, boosting the local economy and putting the state on the global map once again.Minnesota has long been known for its high standard of living, agriculture industry, and flourishing community of performing arts. But over the past decade the Twin Cities area has made great strides to become a forward-thinking place for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.The number of tech businesses in Minnesota has grown exponentially since 2010, adding more than 500 startups since 2015 alone. Following the charge, venture capitalists now invest more than $200 million in the region annually.That Cool Minnesota LifestyleWhat attracts people to Minnesota? “Incredible career options with a world-class quality of life you can actually afford,” says Matt Lewis, Director of Make It. MSP., a collective that helps Minneapolis-St. Paul attract and retain top talent.“It’s no coincidence that data-point groups like WalletHub and U.S. News rank Minnesota a best state or tops for working moms and dads. With Fortune 500 companies, amazing parks, a growing arts scene, and more, this place really surprises people.”A strong city ambassador who knows what it’s like to be new, Lewis has moved to Minnesota twice, and now works to help welcome the 30,000+ working professionals who relocate to MSP each year.But aren’t the winters cold? Absolutely. Luckily, Minnesotans are hearty folks who take pride in braving the elements. They bundle up for business, sporting, social events. It’s the same never-say-die spirit that makes them strong entrepreneurs.A Collaborative CommunityThat enterprising attitude also drives groups like Forge North, a collective of entrepreneurs, investors, collaborators, and allies from all sectors working together to grow Minnesota’s startup ecosystem. The collaborative Forge North umbrellas smaller ventures like startup accelerator gener8tor and tech community Minnestar.“Minnestar has grown steadily since we started in 2006. Now we have nearly a thousand attendees at each of our events; that’s a real testament to the strength of the tech community here,” says Maria Ploessl, Minnestar’s Executive Director.And don’t overlook the MN Cup, a startup competition that seeks to bind Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, create technology jobs, and grow the state’s innovation footprint.“MN Cup is an effective way to bring ideas to life — but to us it’s more than a competition. Yes, we’re trying to fuel interest in entrepreneurship, but we’re ultimately focused on creating jobs and using technology to solve meaningful problems that impact lives,” says John Stavig, Director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota. “It’s our way of putting Minnesota on the map as an innovation state.”Startup Success New and OldIt’s supportive groups like those that lead to the success rates and growth at companies like Foodsby, a startup that recently raised nearly $14 million to roll out its office lunch catering and delivery service. Food delivery groups have been big ventures, but their fragmented locations give Foodsby a leg up in the growing Minneapolis market.But the new companies aren’t the only ones grabbing headlines. There’s also WolfNet, a 22-year-old real estate data aggregation company which was just acquired by OJO Labs, showing that growth and innovation is pervasive for longtime Minnesotan tech companies, in addition to the fledgling startups.“WolfNet was early to the real estate data and tech scene in Minneapolis, and it’s been fun to watch the industry grow and change here. Now we have the chance to use what we’ve learned from decades of experience to create a ‘next level collaboration’ with OJO Labs’ incredible AI technology. It really is an amazing opportunity.” says Jennie MacIntosh, Chief Operating Officer at WolfNet.Even old-school startups are joining the scene. On November 7 tech darling Salesforce brings its popular Growth Camp series to the Twin Cities. The free tech conference for small businesses and startups features local speakers, 1:1 tech tutorials, a keynote from acclaimed marketing evangelist Mathew Sweezey, and a networking happy hour. Perhaps best of all, this event is free for all registrants.“One of the core values of our company is innovation, so we love the great things we’ve seen in the Twin Cities market,” says Marie Rosecrans, SVP of SMB Marketing at Salesforce. “We’re committed to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and we look forward to helping more of them use technology to grow and succeed.”The influx of successful startups has even brought opportunities in the form of coworking spaces. The original player, COCO used coworking as a vehicle to build a grass-roots, authentic community of entrepreneurs; its success lead to a joint venture earlier this year, a national franchise play called Fueled Collective.Don Ball, Co-Founder and Chief Social Officer at Fueled Collective, has experienced Minnesota’s growth firsthand and has a finger on the pulse of what might be the clearest sign of Minnesota’s entrepreneurial prowess: “Since 2010, we’ve been practically the only coworking game in town. But since 2017, the amount of coworking space has quadrupled with the addition of WeWork, Industrious, Spaces, Novel, and many more.” The growth of these tech-minded communities offers hard proof of a strengthening market in Minnesota as well as nationally.Growing in DiversityAn increasingly diverse population also plays a part in Minnesota’s boom, and with new demographics come the added diversity of thought. Some people now refer to Minneapolis as a Hipster Haven, while others celebrate its efforts to host WE18, the largest conference and career fair for women engineers.“New cultures and diversity of thought are huge drivers of innovation on a regional level,” says Jeff Lin, CEO of Bust Out Solutions. “Our increasingly diverse population only adds to our ability to attract and retain great people.”The Land of 10,000 StartupsMinnesota will always be the land of 10,000 lakes, but thanks to the influx of technology, it’s now also the land of 10,000 startups. A welcoming vibe and generous spirit make it an ideal place for a new venture. Thinking of joining the in crowd? Just check out the resources from 2018 Twin Cities Startup Week or find expert help at that free Salesforce Growth Camp. Related Posts China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWritelast_img read more

Torontoarea MP Salma Zahid diagnosed with nonHodgkins lymphoma

first_imgOTTAWA – Liberal MP Salma Zahid says she’s taking a medical leave to be treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Zahid, who represents a Toronto-area riding, says she received the diagnosis in the last week.It followed weeks of intermittent pain that began after an overseas visit during the holidays.Zahid says she begins chemotherapy treatment today and after the first round will have a clearer plan for her prognosis and treatment.She last spoke in the House of Commons on Feb. 5, World Cancer Day, when she called attention to the Liberal government’s support for cancer research.Zahid was first elected in 2015 and prior to federal politics was a long-time adviser to the Ontario government.“I am determined to fight this diagnosis and to continue my work in service of the people of Scarborough Centre as soon as I am medically able to do so,” she said in a statement Tuesday.The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 8,300 Canadians were diagnosed in 2017 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that develops in cells that ordinarily help fight infection.last_img read more

Mom fears losing access to experimental drug that helped daughter after study

first_imgTORONTO – Arzu Ozkose is caught in a dilemma she says no mother should have to face.Her 10-year-old daughter, Alara, suffered debilitating seizures caused by Dravet syndrome, but has improved dramatically while taking a cannabis oil being tested as part of a clinical trial at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Yet once the study ends in a couple of months, Ozkose has been told she will have to pay for the drug, which costs about $1,800 a month — an amount the single mother said she can’t afford.“I don’t even want to think to drop this medication, which saved my daughter’s life,” said Ozkose, calling the cannabis oil a “miracle” because Alara went from having about 100 seizures a day to none after starting the drug. “Who can want that as a parent?”The drug maker has said it will offer a discount based on financial need for children who responded well to the medication, but Ozkose’s predicament highlights a much broader issue: do pharmaceutical companies have an ethical obligation to keep supplying experimental medications to patients who take part in clinical trials to test their products as part of the process of bringing them to market?The cannabis oil provided for the clinical trial by Tilray contains a high amount of cannabidiol, or CBD, which studies have shown can reduce seizures in some children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, and a far lower concentration of “high-producing” THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).The Sick Kids study is testing the preparation in 20 kids with Dravet, looking at its safety and what dose works best.While the small trial was not designed to examine effectiveness of the cannabis oil, Ozkose said that since starting it early last year, Alara no longer has the grand mals or dozens of smaller seizures daily that put her in constant danger of falling and injuring herself.“Mostly she couldn’t walk on the street,” said Ozkose, who came to Canada from Turkey with her daughter about two years ago. “I can’t describe it. It’s like you’re losing your child in all the moments. All the moments you have that fear in your life.”Though Alara contends with side-effects such as sleepiness and weight gain, she is now able to go to school and able to run around and swim.But Ozkose, a mining engineer in Turkey who now works as a yoga teacher and life coach in Toronto, said she doesn’t earn enough to pay for the cannabis oil once the trial ends in June. “Her seizures will start again and maybe she won’t be able to go to school again because she falls down and she may hit her head or die.”She’s thankful her daughter was enrolled in the trial, but said it’s unfair that Alara and her fellow patients may be cast adrift once it’s completed.“I feel that they use us and then they finish and they just throw us away.”However, Tilray’s director of clinical research said the B.C.-based company has made a commitment to ensure that patients who have responded will have access to the drug after the trial.“We are putting in place a compassionate pricing program for children with Dravet syndrome and we’ll offer discounts of up to 60 per cent, based on financial need,” said Catherine Jacobson.“And we as a company will ensure first of all that no child that was in the trial will not be able to continue getting the medication when the follow-up period ends,” she said. “So we can assure parents that these kids won’t just stop receiving their medicine.”Some families may get a larger discount, should they be in dire financial need, said Jacobson, who has a son with another form of severe epilepsy and knows well what parents go through trying to find medications that work to control their child’s seizures. About 30 per cent of patients with severe epilepsy are unable to get their seizures under control.“And I think companies in general bear an ethical responsibility to make sure that those families (who participate in clinical trials) still have access to study drugs,” said Jacobson, adding that Tilray is advocating with insurance companies to cover medical cannabis products “at least for this vulnerable patient population.”Jonathan Kimmelman, director of biomedical ethics at McGill University, agreed companies have some obligation to continue to provide care for patients who take part in studies to test experimental products.“Any time a patient participates in a trial, they’re volunteering their body to advance science,” he said from Montreal. “And if it’s a trial being run by a pharmaceutical company, they’re volunteering their bodies to advance the goals of the pharmaceutical company, whether that’s a big pharmaceutical company or a small one.“And they are entitled to some kinds of protection and respect, and they’re also entitled to some degree of reciprocity.”A spokesperson for Innovative Medicines Canada, which represents brand-name pharmaceutical producers, could not comment on the issue, saying “it is up to the purview of each company whether or not to provide medicines to trial participants at a discounted price or for free, and under what conditions, after a clinical trial.”Kimmelman said that under a policy on ethical conduct by Canada’s three major public research investment bodies — including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research — scientists who receive funding are directed to make “reasonable efforts” to continue access to a drug post-trial for patients who appeared to have benefited from the treatment.An international policy initiated by the World Health Organization also sets out ethical guidelines for researchers, saying that if discontinuing an intervention would deprive a patient of basic capabilities or reduce quality of life attained during a study, “then the obligation will be greater than if an intervention provides relief for a minor or transient condition.”That obligation may also be greater where there are no existing interventions with similar effectiveness, the document adds.Kimmelman said when a person volunteers for a research study, they should benefit in some way from the knowledge that’s been gained.“It’s true pharmaceutical companies are there to develop a product and make revenue, but that doesn’t in any way excuse them from upholding ethical standards when patients volunteer their bodies to participate in clinical trials,” he said.“You can’t just dump patients at the side of the road and say: ‘Hey, thanks for helping us answer our questions. See you later.’”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

Your Guide To The 2018 National League

It’s opening week in the major leagues, and we’re catching up on what baseball’s been up to over this very odd offseason — and looking forward to the season ahead. We’ve enlisted the help of our preseason forecasting model, which assesses every team and offers a projection for their 2018 campaign. I’ve also highlighted the most interesting teams and players to watch during the year, as well as the ones about which we just don’t have any clue. (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) What follows is our take on the National League — for the American League, click here. NL WestTeam to beat: Los Angeles Dodgers. At times last season, L.A. looked like it might belong among the greatest teams of all time. But it also looked like trash during one September stretch — then turned around and very nearly won the World Series. We can’t guarantee this season will hold as many ups and downs for the Dodgers, but they should be quite good once again. Start with the NL’s best projected pitcher (Clayton Kershaw), add in its top reliever (Kenley Jansen), and mix in four hitters projected for at least 3.3 WAR (Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig), and you’ve got a recipe for the top team in the National League. This division is pretty stacked in general, though, so you might see both wild-card slots go to NL West teams again. Team ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: New York Mets. Touted last season to contend for the East, the Mets got out to a miserable, injury-riddled start and never recovered. They do have a new manager now, former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, and pitching was the biggest issue with last year’s squad. (New York actually finished 11th in position-player wins above replacement.) But Callaway was basically the extent of the Mets’ offseason improvements, aside from re-signing ex-Met Jay Bruce and scavenging third baseman Todd Frazier and reliever Anthony Swarzak in free agency. Essentially, the Mets’ 2018 season hinges on the same factors that destroyed them in 2017: the health and effectiveness of their pitching staff. Stay tuned to see how that works out.Rebuild alert: Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves. The Phillies had been in this category for years, but they spent the offseason finally making win-now moves. Even the Braves, with their incredible farm machine,1Even after Atlanta was punished for the international signing rule violations that got former GM John Coppolella banned for life from MLB. won’t be long for this list. But the Marlins … whoo, buddy. Miami has just begun its descent into tanking hell, with new ownership and an offseason sell-off that actually surpassed the franchise’s famous fire sale two decades ago. Our model considers the Marlins the worst team in baseball, so let the rebuild commence.Player to watch: Noah Syndergaard, Mets. Last April, “Thor” was well on his way to once again ranking among the game’s best pitchers. Then he tore a lat muscle — and wouldn’t be seen back on an MLB mound until a very odd, meaningless late-September co-start. (Don’t ask.) Syndergaard is healthy again, however, and according to FanGraphs’ numbers, he projects as the third-best pitcher in baseball. What’s more, those projections don’t factor in the fireballs he was hurling in the spring, ostensibly trying to prove he’s still the hardest-throwing starter around. (We get it, Noah.) If Syndergaard stays healthy, he should dominate.Biggest enigma: Bryce Harper, Nationals. Harper is projected to be the eighth-best position player in baseball this season, but he’s far from a sure thing. Despite being one of MLB’s most exciting players, his numbers have bounced around wildly in the past few seasons. In 2015, we saw Harper perform at a level few players have ever attained, producing 9.5 WAR with a weighted on-base average 97 percent better than league average. The following year, he was down to a measly 3.5 WAR with a weighted OBA only 12 percent above average. And last year? He hit like an MVP in the early going but was injured later in the season, ending up with 4.8 WAR and a wOBA 56 percent better than average. No player’s WAR has moved around more from season to season over the past three years, so it’s anybody’s guess where Harper will end up in 2018. Avg. Simulated SeasonChance to… TeamElo RatingWinsLossesRun Diff.Make PlayoffsWin DivisionWin World Series Team ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee is an extremely difficult team to figure out heading into the season. The Brew Crew surprised everyone by winning 86 games last year, even leading the division as late as July 25. It also dealt aggressively over the winter, picking up both Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to patrol Miller Park’s outfield. But the forecasters are pretty split over the Brewers’ potential in 2018. Some systems see them pushing the Cardinals and Cubs again; others think they’ll struggle to crack .500. Our aggregation of various projections calls for 83 wins, but like Minnesota in the AL, this is another forecast I suspect we’re too low on.Rebuild alert: Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds have been rebuilding for a half-decade now, if we include this season — and our projections say we most definitely should. Someday, perennial MVP candidate Joey Votto could play for a winning team again, but it probably won’t be this year (and it might not be for Cincinnati, either). Meanwhile, the Pirates are just embarking on their rebuilding journey, having traded away franchise cornerstone Andrew McCutchen and ace Gerrit Cole. Pittsburgh probably could have made one last run at the playoffs this year if it had hung on to its stars, but that would have required everything to go right. Instead, general manager Neal Huntington opted to close the book on the franchise’s best period since the early 1990s.Player to watch: Jose Quintana, Cubs. When the Cubs picked up Quintana from the White Sox at last season’s trade deadline for a handful of prospects, it was about more than just renting help for the stretch run in 2017. Quintana’s contract extends through this year, with team options for 2019 and 2020 as well, so the Cubs were locking down one of the game’s most valuable arms for the long haul. According to FanGraphs, Quintana is projected to be a top-10 pitcher by WAR this season. Along with new teammate Yu Darvish, he should help Chicago recapture some of the form of its banner 2016 campaign that produced the third-best rotation in baseball.Biggest enigma: Kyle Schwarber, Cubs. Schwarber’s career has already gone through so many twists and turns, it’s hard to remember that he’s still just 25 years old, with a shade over two years of MLB service time. Schwarber flashed outstanding potential at the plate in a half-season of action in 2015, and he provided instant memories when he returned from injury to hit .412 in the 2016 World Series. But a cold start buried his 2017 numbers, even though he hit quite well from July onward. Toss in an offseason of serious weight loss, and it seems like Schwarber is poised for a big breakout season — but still, FanGraphs’ projections see him generating between 0.9 and 3.0 WAR, so he’s stuck on the enigma list for now. Diamondbacks15238577+3843193 How Elo is forecasting the NL Central race How Elo is forecasting the NL East race NL EastTeam to beat: Washington Nationals. Aside from a stunning implosion in 2015 and a distant runner-up finish to the Atlanta Braves (remember that?) in 2013, the Nats have owned this division for most of the decade. For at least one more season, things should play out basically the same way. Washington returns essentially all of the core that won 97 ballgames a year ago, plus it’ll have leadoff man Adam Eaton back after a knee injury cost him most of last season. Nobody quite knows what to do with the Mets (see below), and the Phillies are finally on the rise. But it would take another unlikely confluence of underperformance from the Nationals and a breakout elsewhere for anybody to catch Washington this year. The Nats should savor it while it lasts — with Bryce Harper and others due for free agency after the season and Philadelphia and Atlanta soon emerging from their tanking projects, this division could look very different in a few years. But for now, it’s all Washington. How Elo is forecasting the NL West race Mets14917983-2124141 TeamElo RatingWinsLossesRun Diff.Make PlayoffsWin DivisionWin World Series Reds14657290-8783<1 Dodgers15689765+14581%63%13% Avg. Simulated SeasonChance to… Rockies15038082-92691 Braves14747587-58158<1 Pirates14837785-41186<1 Marlins14436795-12753<1 Nationals15469369+11173%62%8% Brewers15108379+1534142 TeamElo RatingWinsLossesRun Diff.Make PlayoffsWin DivisionWin World Series NL CentralTeam to beat: Chicago Cubs. Last year’s Cubs suffered one of the worst championship hangovers in baseball history, dragging them down from the historic heights they’d reached in 2016. (Note: They still won 92 games. Everything’s relative.) But between the offseason and last year’s trade deadline, Chicago now boasts a revamped pitching staff to go with a young core of position-player talent that already ranks among baseball’s best. The Cardinals, eternal archnemesis to the Cubs, are shaping up for a resurgent season as well — and who knows what to make of the Brewers (more on them later) — so this division could make for an exciting summer. But out of that triad of contenders, the Cubs are clearly the favorites to win the Central crown. Avg. Simulated SeasonChance to… Phillies14907983-1924141 Giants14947884-272281 Cardinals15228676+4345223 Cubs15589567+12776%55%10% Padres14556993-11562<1 Team ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: San Francisco Giants. The Giants’ weird run of even-year success seemed poised to end this season after the team sputtered to 64 wins a year ago. But San Francisco refused to let one of the most disappointing campaigns in recent history deter them. No, the Giants went out and acquired a bunch of recognizable names over the winter, including potential future Hall of Famers Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. Will their efforts work? Well, PECOTA lists the Giants on the periphery of the playoffs. But other projections are less bullish. Also working against San Francisco: Only six teams in history have gone from 85 or more wins2Per 162 games. in one season to 70 or fewer the next, then back to 85 or more the season after that. A spring training injury to ace Madison Bumgarner — see below — isn’t helping matters, either.Rebuild alert: San Diego Padres. San Diego is perpetually rebuilding — it hasn’t finished above .500 since 2010 — and the Padres were dealt another blow3Probably. when Japanese two-way prospect Shohei Ohtani spurned them this winter. But the team has ranked third in Keith Law’s farm-system rankings in back-to-back years now, helping produce a few encouraging prospects who might be part of the next contending Padres team. That team probably won’t come along this season, though: Our model assigns the Padres the lowest division-title probability of any team in the National League.Player to watch: Corey Seager, Dodgers. Los Angeles has so many stars at its disposal that, Clayton Kershaw aside, it can sometimes be difficult for them to get their proper due. Take Seager, a slick-fielding, great-hitting, 23-year-old shortstop who ranks fifth among position players in WAR over the past two seasons. A player like that would be the centerpiece of most teams, but Seager finished behind three teammates (and tied with another) in MVP voting last year. Sure, some of that owed to Seager missing time with elbow and back problems. But when he’s healthy, Seager ought to be in the running with Kershaw for the title of L.A.’s best player.Biggest enigma: Madison Bumgarner, Giants. No pitcher in baseball looks more lights-out when he’s at his best than Bumgarner, whose playoff exploits are the stuff of legend. But that peak performance hasn’t always translated fully in the regular season, where Bumgarner ranks only 15th among qualified starters in fielding-independent pitching since his rookie season of 2010. Beyond that, his customary durability faltered last season, as a dirt bike accident landed him on the disabled list for several months with shoulder and rib injuries. And just this week, a stray line drive broke a finger on Bumgarner’s throwing hand, costing him an estimated six to eight weeks of action. If Bumgarner doesn’t dominate when he returns, the Giants’ bounce-back season might be doomed to failure.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Goalies fight for time in net

For the second straight year, the Ohio State men’s hockey team has a fierce competition at goalie. Junior Dustin Carlson and sophomore Cal Heeter are again battling for time between the pipes.“I got my chance last year to play, I played the first game at Denver and the next game in Michigan,” Heeter said. “Then Dusty [Carlson] really got on a roll and coaches just stuck with him.”Carlson went on to have one of the best seasons in OSU history. He recorded 21 wins, fourth in program history, and four shutouts, which is third in program history. Carlson’s 1,014 saves last season ranked second in the conference and fifth in program history.Consequently, Heeter finished the season with only three starts. However, with the new season, the competition has been renewed.Heeter said he was told at the end of last season “If you come in and work hard you’re going to have your chances to play and you’ll just have to prove yourself in games.”So far this season, Heeter has taken full advantage of his opportunities winning two of his three starts. His wins came against No. 3 Denver in a 4-0 victory and against Lake Superior State by a score of 4-3.While Heeter has thrived in the early season, Carlson has struggled. Carlson has failed to record a win in his three starts this season, but his record isn’t necessarily due to his own play, coach John Markell said.“One guy right now is the recipient of more goals than the other,” Markell said. The Buckeyes have scored nine goals in Heeter’s three starts while scoring just four goals in Carlson’s.“Both of them are going to have the opportunity to play and that’s part of being a team,” Markell said. So far, the teammates seem unaffected by the rotation.“As far as playing one game a weekend, I think in some ways its easier,” Heeter said. “But if they call on me to play two, that’s not going to bother me either.”The duo also seems to have embraced the situation, and worked with each other to improve. “It’s a healthy competition between us. We push each other to be the best,” Heeter said.Heeter and Carlson will continue to push each other in the Buckeyes’ next two games against No. 11 Notre Dame. The games are Friday at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday at 5:05 p.m. at Notre Dame. read more

Urban Meyer talks position battles impressive freshmen

Members of the OSU football team huddle around coach Urban Meyer during the first day of fall practice Aug. 4 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.Credit: Tim Moody / Sports editorAfter the departure of four starters from the 2013 Ohio State football team’s offensive line, coach Urban Meyer has his eye on one slot in particular.“The left guard on offense, that’s the one,” Meyer said Monday after the team’s first practice of fall camp. “If I had to say where is all the focus, to me it’s at left guard.”Meyer went on to compliment a few different position groups, including the defensive line, linebackers, safeties and running backs, but went back to the importance of the battle for left guard duties.He said four players, including two in senior Joel Hale and redshirt-junior Chase Farris who have spent time as defensive linemen for OSU, have a chance to start. Meyer said the other contenders are redshirt-junior Antonio Underwood and redshirt-freshman Billy Price.Outside of left guard, Meyer touched on position battles at safety and punt return for the Buckeyes heading into the 2014 season. He said the battle for the two starting spots at safety is still up in the air, with three returning players and a true freshman fighting for playing time.“All three, that’s a three-man race right now, and all three of them think they’re going to play,” Meyer said of redshirt-sophomore Tyvis Powell, sophomore Cam Burrows and sophomore Vonn Bell. “And you throw (freshman) Erick Smith chomping at the bit, too — you’ve just got to keep them healthy.”Powell totaled 48 tackles in 2013 to lead that group, while Burrows and Bell combined for 30 tackles. Powell had a game-sealing interception on a 2-point try against Michigan, and Bell recorded a pick in OSU’s Orange Bowl loss to Clemson.According to Meyer, sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson is the front-runner at punt return, but there are a handful of players vying for a chance. He named off redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith, redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall and freshman cornerback Marshon Lattimore as potential competition for Wilson.“You got some really talented guys,” Meyer said of the group.Smith and Marshall both redshirted last season, while Wilson was the team’s leading kick returner but has not returned a punt in his Buckeye career.While many of those position battles were on display during the evening session of Monday’s practice, the majority of the OSU freshmen took part in a practice session in the morning.“Really good first day with the young guys,” Meyer said of the early practice.The Buckeye coach said it’s still early but added he was “really impressed” with how the freshmen performed. He saved special praise for a handful of the newcomers, including Lattimore and Smith.At least two true freshmen had a chance to practice with the returnees in the evening, which Meyer attributed to their maturity. Both freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan and freshman wide receiver Johnnie Dixon could be seen on the field throughout practice.“They’re just guys that are over 3.0 students, take care of their business,” Meyer said. “They act like pros, they act like grown men, so we let them practice with the grown men today.”One addition to the OSU roster for fall camp was redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle, who had previously been dismissed from the team following an arrest. Meyer said Sprinkle lost his summer scholarship and will be suspended for OSU’s first game.“He’s got, every week, community service and a multitude of other things to take care of business before he’ll ever see the field,” he said.Among other notes from Monday’s press conference, Meyer confirmed offensive lineman Tommy Brown had decided to transfer away from OSU. He also said senior quarterback Braxton Miller is “100 percent” but added that he wasn’t at his sharpest in his first practice after missing the entire spring due to shoulder surgery.According to a Monday OSU press release, Brown isn’t the only Buckeye no longer playing for the team. Senior tight end J.T. Moore had to end his career due to continuing knee issues, but the release said he will still graduate from OSU in December.The release also said defensive lineman Michael Hill was granted a medical redshirt for the 2013 season and will therefore have four years of eligibility remaining. Additionally, freshman Sam Hubbard is currently listed as a linebacker after originally being slated to play tight end for the Buckeyes.OSU is scheduled to return to practice Tuesday for the second of 18 practice days before the season kicks off.The Buckeyes’ 2014 schedule is set to kick off Aug. 30 against Navy in Baltimore. The game is scheduled to start at noon. read more