Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dee Gordon has been taking grounders at second base at Triple-A, which makes sense considering Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis is hurt and Gordon’s defense at shortstop was pretty bad last year.
Dilbeck says it’s more of a long-term thing, rather than some reaction to Ellis’ quadriceps injury, but either way it could help Gordon get back to the majors. Of course, regardless of his position Gordon also needs to show that he can handle big-league pitching after hitting .220 with a .561 OPS in 87 games last season.
Gordon’s speed is truly elite–he has 56 steals in 143 games as a major leaguer despite rarely being on base–but the Dodgers need to figure out where he can play defensively and whether he can be more than a utility man-caliber 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.