Cincinnati signing Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million contract was criticized heavily this offseason and now it looks considerably worse, as the right-hander will miss the remainder of the season following elbow surgery.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com described the current details surrounding Broxton’s recovery timetable as “vague” and manager Dusty Baker indicated that doctors won’t know how long he’ll be out until “they get in there and see what’s wrong.”
Broxton, who missed most of the 2011 season with an elbow injury and spent two months of this year on the disabled list with an elbow strain, logged 31 innings for the Reds with a 4.11 ERA and 25/12 K/BB ratio. He’s owed $7 million next season, $9 million in 2015, and $9 million or a $1 million buyout for 2016, which is why signing relievers with lengthy injury histories to long-term contracts is so often a mistake.
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.