One of the players who best embodies the success of the Tampa Bay Rays and their versatility and depth is everyday player Ben Zobrist. He plays in the starting lineup, sometimes in the infield at second base or shortstop and sometimes in the outfield.
Early in Spring Training Zobrist is battling a sore and tight back as a result of an injury sustained during exercises in the weight room. It appears to be nothing serious, though, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes today:
2B Ben Zobrist said his sore and tight back was “feeling a lot better than yesterday” and he could be back on the field as soon as Sunday.”
Not every bump and bruise in February is worth reporting, but when it comes to baseball players and any injury that involves the words “back,” “oblique,” or “core,” we have no choice but to pay attention. With Zobrist set to get back in the swing of things this weekend, it sounds like nothing serious, but the Rays cannot afford to have this injury linger.
This is worth watching just to make sure Zobrist is full-strength again once real baseball starts. At that point, this will officially be the non-story that it appears to be.