Today the Dodgers made official what was reported last week, announcing Mark McGwire as their new hitting coach.
McGwire replaces Dave Hansen, who was fired as the Dodgers’ hitting coach and then quickly hired by the Mariners to fill the same role.
McGwire spent the past three seasons as the Cardinals’ hitting coach and was consistently praised for the job he did, as the lineup ranked sixth, first, and second among NL teams in scoring under his tutelage.
St. Louis wanted him back in 2013, but McGwire is from California, makes his offseason home there, and wanted to be closer to his family year-round.
St. Louis has already promoted John Mabry from assistant hitting coach to hitting coach as McGwire’s replacement.
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.