Pirates release Jonathan Sanchez

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Last week the Pirates designated Jonathan Sanchez for assignment and today they released the left-hander after he predictably passed through waivers unclaimed.

Sanchez has been the worst pitcher in baseball since the beginning of last season, going 1-12 with an 8.73 ERA, .330 opponents’ batting average, and more walks (61) than strikeouts (60) in 78 innings. That includes an 11.25 ERA for the Pirates, which consists of 18 runs in 13.2 innings.

Sanchez is only 29 years old and not that far removed from throwing a no-hitter and being a high-strikeout starter with some upside, but it’s hard to overstate how awful he’s been.

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.