Dodgers to Ron Belliard: be slim, or be gone

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About that Ron Belliard deal?Yes, it’s for $825,000, and yes, the Dodgers are likely counting on Belliard to win the second base job, but according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, it’s not guaranteed.  But it can be:  All Belliard has to do is to weigh in at 209 or less at some point during spring training.

Why 209? Because that’s what the Dodgers say he weighed at the end of last year when he was really effective.  If that’s what he weighed a mere three months ago, it seems fair enough to me that he be expected to get there sometime within the next two months.

What would be unfair? Expecting him to weigh 180, which is what Baseball-Reference, the Nats’ media guide from last year and presumably his driver’s license and all of his baseball cards say.  I’m guessing he hasn’t been within donut-sniffing distance of 180 since Clinton’s first term.

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.