D.J. Short

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 12:  Wearing a Rawlings "I Web" baseball glove Ben Zobrist #18 of the Oakland Athletics warms up playing catch prior to the start of the game against the Seattle Mariners at O.co Coliseum on April 12, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Ben Zobrist on track to return from disabled list Monday

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Ben Zobrist reqired arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on April 28, but he’s set to rejoin the Athletics sooner than originally anticipated.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Zobrist is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Monday. The 33-year-old began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and is 4-for-9 with three RBI over his first three games. He’s slated to serve as the DH today and play nine innings at second base before rejoining the Athletics.

Acquired from the Rays over the winter, Zobrist was batting .240/.304/.400 with one home run and eight RBI over his first 14 games this season prior to having the surgery. The A’s have the worst record in the majors at 14-30 and appear likely to be sellers, so the impending free agent could be a trade chip as we move closer to July 31.

Video: Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected before Saturday’s game even started

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds
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Here’s something you don’t see very often. Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected before today’s game against the Indians even started. Really.

Price was exchanging lineup cards before he got into it with second base umpire Jim Reynolds, who ejected him. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer speculates that it was carryover from a gripe he had last night when the Reds lost 7-3 in the series opener. Or perhaps Reynolds asked about the availability of Devin Mesoraco. One or the other.

You can watch the video here:

The Reds have lost six games in a row and sit at 18-23 on the year.

Justin Verlander set to test triceps injury with simulated game

Justin Verlander
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Justin Verlander is ready to take the next step in his long road back from a right triceps strain, as Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that he’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday in Oakland.

Verlander originally injured his triceps in spring training and had a setback while attempting to throw a simulated game last month. He resumed throwing earlier this month and felt good after going through an extended bullpen session Thursday at Comerica Park.

The Tigers aren’t going to look too far ahead given how things played out after the last time he tried to throw a simulated game, but a minor league rehab assignment might not be far off if things go according to plan.

UPDATE: David Wright diagnosed with spinal stenosis

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets warms up before the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 9, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Wright has been diagnosed with stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column. That doesn’t sound good. In fact, the condition has forced some athletes into early retirement. The Mets believe that the injury will heal, but there’s no timetable. They probably can’t count on him anytime soon.

2:50 p.m. ET: Rough news for the Mets here, as Marc Carig of New York Newsday reports that David Wright has been shut down for another week due to continued back issues.

Wright originally landed on the disabled list in mid-April with a strained right hamstring, but he began having lower back pain while rehabbing the injury earlier this month. As of yesterday, the Mets were hoping that he would be rehab for minor league rehab games next week, but that plan will go on the backburner until he begins to show improvement.

Eric Campbell is currently filling in for Wright at third base, but he’s batting just .197/.323/.303 over 24 games. The Mets have been struggling to score runs for quite a while now and one wonders how much longer they can stand pat without making some sort of move to improve their offense.

Devin Mesoraco had a setback with his hip

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds
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Devin Mesoraco hasn’t caught since April 12 due to a left hip impingement, but the Reds have kept him active as a pinch-hitter and designated hitter rather than place him on the disabled list. It looks like they aren’t going to have a choice soon.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mesoraco tested his hip Friday by trying to get into a catching position and doing 15 squats and giving signs. It didn’t go well.

“It was very difficult,” he said. “It’s probably not something that’s going to happen any time soon. It obviously caused some problems afterward. It doesn’t make sense to do a whole lot more right now because it doesn’t feel good.”

Mesoraco plans to make a decision about surgery after the Reds return from their current road trip. Surgery would end his season, but there’s no sense in delaying it any longer if he isn’t seeing improvement.