Cubs sign veteran starter Doug Davis to minor league deal

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Injuries struck the Cubs’ rotation as soon as they decided to cut bait on Carlos Silva, but today they added a little pitching depth by signing veteran left-hander Doug Davis to a minor-league contract.

Davis worked out for a bunch of teams a few weeks ago after being limited to just eight starts last season because of a heart problem and an elbow injury. Prior to that, however, the 35-year-old had a 4.12 ERA in 203 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2009 and he was a pretty consistent mid-rotation starter for most of the decade.

His control has always been shaky and Davis is no sure thing to still be effective at age 35, but as far as low-risk rotation depth goes he’s a nice flier to take. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then likely report to Triple-A at some point.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Davis can earn up to $2 million in salary and incentives if/when the Cubs call him up.

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.