Out for the past six weeks with a concussion, Twins center fielder Denard Span told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’s been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
There’s no word yet on where Span will be rehabbing or how long the stint is expected to last, but given the struggles Justin Morneau had coming back from his concussion last season the Twins are sure to play it very safe with Span’s timetable.
In his absence Ben Revere has taken over as the everyday center fielder, but his standout defense has come with a modest .310 on-base percentage and .309 slugging percentage in 50 games.
Span was Minnesota’s best player prior to the concussion, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Twins keep Revere around alongside him in the outfield and, if that happens, which of them plays center field. Jason Kubel is also on the DL, but if at some point all of the Twins’ outfielders are healthy it’ll be a logjam that also includes Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer, plus Jim Thome at designated hitter.
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.