Brewers break off negotiations with Chris Capuano

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the club has broken off talks with free agent left-hander Chris Capuano.

“Chris wants to be a starting pitcher and we don’t see a match at this time,” said Melvin. “We like Chris a lot but we both decided it was best he look elsewhere. I heard teams are showing interest.”

The Brewers have Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson penciled in their rotation for 2011, so Capuano will have to look for an opportunity elsewhere if he wants to be a starting pitcher.

The 32-year-old left-hander made for a nice comeback story with the Brewers in 2010, working his way back from his second Tommy John surgery and two lost seasons to post a 3.95 ERA and 54/21 K/BB ratio over nine starts and 15 relief appearances. The former 18-game winner has never thrown particularly hard, but he displayed his best velocity (87.4 mph, according to FanGraphs) since his first year with the Brewers in 2004.

There are still plenty of teams out there looking for starting pitching, so assuming teams believe he is healthy, Capuano shouldn’t have a hard time finding work.

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.