Schilling hired by ESPN as baseball analyst

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schilling press.JPGAccording to the Associated Press, six-time All-Star Curt Schilling has been hired as a baseball analyst for ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” and will make his debut during pregame coverage of tonight’s season opening game between the Yankees and Red Sox.

He will also carry a few other responsibilities, including appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNBoston.com.  The outspoken Schilling will no doubt bring some much-needed energy to the BBTN set, but you have to wonder if the image-conscious network is in over its head with this one.  Schilling speaks his mind, sometimes to a fault, and even runs his own blog at 38pitches.com.  To censor him would almost defeat the purpose of the hire, wouldn’t it?

Schilling, now 43, spent 20 seasons in the major leagues, playing for the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox.  He boasts a 216-146 career record, a 3.46 career ERA and a 1.14 career WHIP.  He was the runner-up in Cy Young Award voting three times.  Not a bad resume.

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

Ben Zobrist
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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.