Justin Upton has played three straight games since being scratched from Tuesday’s lineup due to a jammed left thumb, but Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic last night that the injury is still “bothering him considerably.”
Upton hurt the thumb while sliding into second base to break up a double play on Sunday. He’s using padding around the thumb while hitting and has been held out of batting practice the past two days in order to ease the pain. While he’ll have to grind through it for now, Gibson is confident the injury will heal while he’s in the lineup.
“It should,” Gibson said. “But he’s beating on it every day, so it’s not going to heal as quick as it would normally. If he were a writer, it would heal a lot quicker.”
Upton went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored in last night’s loss to the Rockies. He’s hitting .211 (4-for-19) with two doubles and seven walks so far this season.
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.