From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Mark Kotsay will retire as a player at the end of the season.
“I know this is a good time physically and mentally for me to retire . . . these are my last games as a player,” Kotsay said Saturday before Atlanta’s Kris Medlen shut out the Padres on four hits over 7 1/3 innings to lead the Braves to a 2-1 victory before 40,153 at Turner Field.
The 37-year-old native of Southern California made his major league debut the same season (1997) as Todd Helton, who is also hanging up his cleats for good this October. Kotsay played for the Marlins, Padres, Athletics, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox and Brewers over the course of his 17-year career, batting .276/.332/.405 with 1,781 hits and 127 home runs. Baseball-Reference estimates he made $50.75 million.
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.