Pirates place closer Jason Grilli on the disabled list

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Jason Grilli’s transformation from journeyman middle reliever to stud closer will be put on hold for at least two weeks, as the Pirates placed him on the disabled list with a strained forearm.

Grilli left last night’s game in the ninth inning accompanied by a trainer and in obvious pain, and he’s apparently on his way to Pittsburgh to be examined further.

Grilli made his first All-Star team at age 36 and has saved a league-leading 30 games with a 2.34 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 42 innings after coming into the season with five career saves. Mark Melancon, who also made his first All-Star team in a setup role, will take over ninth-inning duties.

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.