Chad Qualls was unavailable to pitch yesterday because of a foot injury, which the Phillies reliever described as like a “knife was going at the back of my heel.”
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Qualls actually pitched through that pain Saturday, throwing a scoreless inning against the Pirates, but sat out yesterday’s game and is now scheduled to see a doctor back in Philadelphia.
One of Qualls’ biggest strengths is durability and he apparently doesn’t know how this injury occurred, but it caused the Phillies to use Kyle Kendrick on consecutive days for the first time in his career and could put a lot of stress on a bullpen that’s already without Jose Contreras.
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.