Kendrys Morales still not running at full speed, re-examined by foot specialist

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It’s hard to remember now, but at one point the Angels were hoping to have Kendrys Morales in the Opening Day lineup.

Now they might settle for having him in the second half.

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that Morales still isn’t running at full speed on the fractured ankle that ended his 2010 season in May and was re-examined yesterday by a foot specialist.

Mike Scioscia called the doctor’s visit “just part of the process” but at this point there’s no timetable for Morales’ return and he seems to be going backward in his recovery with every update.

Morales has been hitting and fielding ground balls since spring training, but until he’s able to run at something resembling full strength and perhaps more importantly do so without needing multiple days off from running afterward it’ll be impossible to project a return date.

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.