Dbacks to use Heilman as a reliever

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As Matthew noted yesterday, while Aaron Heilman has started before, he’s probably a better bet to pitch out of the pen.  Seems that the Dbacks’ GM Josh Byrnes agrees, as he said last night that Heilman “definitely strengthens our bullpen.”

Remember back when Heilman’s agent made a big fuss over this, saying “The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he’s ever
had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the
Mets as a starting pitcher”?

Yeah, that was objectively wrong — Heilman’s ERA as a starter is 5.93 and 3.63 as a reliever — but even the best of us have a hard time admitting that we’re not as good at what we want to do in life as opposed to what we like to do.  So keep an eye on the Dbacks camp come February and wait for the complaining to start.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
AP Images
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.