The Dodgers release Eric Gagne

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Last week the Dodgers sent Eric Gagne to the minors.  Last night they said, eh, forget it, and just released him. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings. Late innings in spring training games, so it’s not like he’d be facing a less-talented brand of competition in the minors.

I would assume that Gagne’s career is over.  The Rockies had offered him deal similar to that which the Dodgers offered, but I’m fairly certain the demote-then-release dynamic would have played out the same way there too.  He’s on record this spring saying that the independent leagues were no fun — and he wasn’t that good in the Can-Am league to begin with, going 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a
starter — so I doubt he’s heading back there. Dude just can’t pitch anymore.

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.