Josh Hamilton steps up rehab, takes batting practice

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Participating in batting practice for the first time since suffering a broken humerus, Josh Hamilton took 40-50 swings without incident Friday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Hamilton said he “let it go pretty good” during the sesson in Arlington.  He’s expected to take batting practice again tomorrow.

The plan is for Hamilton to have another set of X-rays next week.  If the scan shows the bone is healed, he’ll likely be cleared to begin a rehab assignment.

Ideally, Hamilton could begin playing in minor league games as soon as next Friday and then rejoin the Rangers for their May 23-29 homestand.

Currently just one game over .500 at 19-18 after their hot start, the Rangers will certainly welcome him back.

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.