Paul Goldschmidt is still one of the top candidates for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, but the Diamondbacks’ first baseman had been slumping for nearly a month. Since July 28, the day after his most recent home run, and August 21, he had compiled a .647 OPS with only five extra-base hits — four doubles and a triple — in 99 plate appearances.
The slump led some to speculate that Goldschmidt was hiding an injury, but manager Chip Hale shot down that idea, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Goldschmidt busted out of his slump early on Saturday against the Reds, drilling a two-run home run to the opposite field against Anthony DeSclafani, pushing his team’s lead to 3-0. Goldschmidt is now sitting on a .329 average, 23 home runs, 91 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases.
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.