Franklin Gutierrez was in the original starting lineup Sunday. By 11 a.m., two hours before the Dodgers played the Colorado Rockies, the veteran outfielder was on the 10-day disabled list because of a rare inflammatory disease called ankylosing spondylitis, which forced him to sit out the 2014 season. Gutierrez, signed to a one-year, $2.6-million contract in February because of his career .844 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against left-handers, has dealt with the condition, which over time can cause some of the vertebrae in the spine to fuse, since 2011. Among the other symptoms are pain and stiffness from the neck to the lower back, pain in ligaments and tendons, fever, fatigue and a loss of appetite.
The National League Central has proven to be far below the expectations of the 2017 season. The Chicago Cubs won 103 games and let’s not forget the World Series a season ago. This year the Cubs have yet to show what its obvious talent can do. The Pirates and Cardinals have no offense. The NL Central is sitting there for the taking. Milwaukee is not respected by anyone in the media and for good reason. This is a small market club that hasn’t been to the postseason since 2011 and has been in a rebuild mode for the last two seasons. However, now that the division has taken a step back the Brewers have a real shot to shock a lot of so called experts. Milwaukee must take advantage of the lackluster
In May of 2016, in a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs, right fielder Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals walked 13 times. The Cubs went on to win the World Series while Harper tailed off the rest of the season, hitting .243 with 24 homers after batting .330 with 42 longballs in 2015. Harper and Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be reunited Monday when Chicago begins a four-game series in Washington against the first-place Nationals.