Mariners give Nationals castoff Chris Young a rotation spot

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Released by the Nationals earlier this week, Chris Young has signed with the Mariners. And unlike most of these scenarios Young is actually getting a major-league deal and a spot in Seattle’s starting rotation.

Young is coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome and didn’t pitch in the majors at all last season, but he was relatively effective for the Mets in 2012 and the 6-foot-10 right-hander pitched decently in Nationals camp this spring.

Seattle planned to have Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker in the rotation as No. 2 and No. 3 starters, but both right-handers will instead begin the season on the disabled list. Their return timetables are basically Young’s window of opportunity to impress.

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.