The “blame Theo” train gains steam

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David Pinto flagged this Jim Donaldson post over at the Projo Sox blog. After detailing the failings of John Lackey, he lets this point rip, building on a comment Buck Showalter made last spring about the Red Sox’ payroll advantages:

Showalter had a very good point — it would, indeed, be interesting to see how smart Theo would be with the Tampa Bay payroll. And how smart are the Cubs, who supposedly are interested in bringing Epstein to the Windy City to throw around their major-market money?

To sum up: the GM who has given the Red Sox it’s greatest era of success in a century if not ever is all hat and no cattle and it would be a big mistake for the Chicago Cubs — the Cubs! —  to try to hire him. And we know this because Buck freakin’ Showalter says so.

Personally, I’d love to hear how upset Cubs fans would be if Epstein were allowed to ruin their team the way he has ruined the Red Sox. I bet they’d have a different take on it.

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.