It feels like we always get tentatively good news after a Cubs injury, doesn’t it? And then, well, it doesn’t always proceed as hoped.
Which is not me casting doubt on the party line after Ben Zobrist departed last night’s game with a hip issue, but it is me cautioning that we can’t know how things will actually proceed until a guy is back on the field. And, even then, as we just discussed with Addison Russell, he might be playing at less than 100% and we can’t really tell until we have hindsight available in the data.
OK, so, anyway, here’s the tentatively good news on Zobrist, as described by Joe Maddon after the game: “[Zobrist] came up to me and said, ‘I really can’t run that well, so be aware of that.’ So we took him out and [athletic trainer PJ Mainville] came up and told me he’s feeling a lot better. So I don’t know exactly what it is yet … but I think he’s gonna be fine for tomorrow.”
That’s certainly better than “he’s going for an MRI and we’re just praying for good news,” but I’d be surprised if Zobrist actually does start today. At 37 and having a tremendous year at the plate in large part because his health has been managed so well, I think Maddon will play it safe.
On the year, Zobrist is hitting .313/.398/.467 with a 134 wRC+, continuing to justify the contract the Cubs gave him three years ago.
Randomly, this made me think of what a shame it’s going to be when Zobrist’s body finally stops letting him play at a high enough level to be in the big leagues. He is just the embodiment of everything you’d want in a player, right? He performs very well at the plate and on defense. He is willing to move all over into any role he’s asked. He switch hits. He’s great in the clubhouse. He shows off his enthusiasm for the game. He wants to win. He’s got tons of playoff experience. Dang. The Cubs are very fortunate to have had him during this window, eh? Good signing, guys.