Sonny Gray had thumb surgery, should be ready for spring training

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Athletics starter Sonny Gray underwent thumb surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, per Susan Slusser. The right-hander had a screw inserted to stabilize the fracture, suffered in his Game 5 loss to the Tigers in the ALDS.

Slusser says Gray should be ready to go when spring training arrives in February.

Gray became one of the Athletics’ most reliable starters after making his Major League debut on July 10. He wrapped up the regular season with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings over 12 starts. He then outdueled Justin Verlander in Game 2 of the ALDS, tossing eight shutout frames as his Athletics went on to win 1-0. The A’s called on him in the fifth and final game of the ALDS but he wasn’t as effective, allowing three runs in five innings, as the Athletics were ultimately pushed out of ALCS contention.

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.