After leaving yesterday’s game with a dislocated left thumb, Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Zobrist suffered the injury on a head-first slide into second base while trying to avoid a tag on a stolen base attempt. He told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune this evening that he hopes to return in 15 days, but won’t risk a setback by rushing things. The Rays have called up infielder Cole Figueroa to take his place on the active roster, but Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe figure to see most of the playing time at second base for now.
Zobrist, who turns 33 later this month, is batting .260/.352/.364 with three home runs and nine RBI through 40 games this season.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.