Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is headed to the disabled list with a fractured finger suffered last Saturday when he was hit by a pitch.
Middlebrooks actually played through the injury all week after sitting out Sunday, going 2-for-14 (.143) with six strikeouts. Brock Holt and Jonathan Herrera are the prime options to fill in at third base, but neither has much upside.
Middlebrooks was previously on the disabled list in April with a calf injury and has hit just .197 with two homers and a .629 OPS in 21 games when healthy enough to be in the lineup. Dating back to last season he’s hit just .222 with a .685 OPS and ghastly 121/27 K/BB ratio in 115 games, falling apart after a strong rookie season in which he hit .288 with 15 homers and an .835 OPS in 75 games.
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.