Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano completed a three-week anger management program on Thursday and was sent to the club’s spring training complex in Mesa, Florida to begin working his way back to the big leagues.
That process took a big leap forward this morning, as it was announced by the Des Moines Register that Big Z will be joining up with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on either Tuesday or Wednesday to begin throwing in live games. Zambrano is being brought back as a reliever, so it shouldn’t take him long to build endurance and work out any kinks that have developed in his delivery.
The right-hander, of course, was suspended indefinitely by the Cubs in late June for going on a tirade in the dugout after a rough outing. He had a 5.66 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 22 outings (nine starts) before the unfortunate incident.
The Indians announced on Wednesday that second baseman Jason Kipnis has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Infielder Erik Gonzalez was called up from Triple-A Columbus.
Kipnis, 30, has been bothered by the hamstring for the last two months. He had to be pulled from Tuesday’s game with renewed tightness. The veteran is hitting .228/.285/.409 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 335 plate appearances on the season.
Gonzalez, 25, has a .263/.272/.400 triple-slash line in 82 PA in the majors this season. He provides versatility for the Indians as he’s played second base, third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions as a member of the Tribe.
The Red Sox placed outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained thumb this afternoon.
Bradley’s left thumb got bent back awkwardly as he slid into home plate on Tuesday night in Cleveland. X-rays came back negative, but an MRI taken Wednesday morning in Boston revealed the sprain. It’s unclear at this point how long he might be sidelined.
Bradley is hitting .262/.343/.432 with 14 homers and 54 runs batted in on the season. Andrew Benintendi is likely to take over in center field for Bradley, with Chris Young and Brock Holt sharing time in left.