Ben Zobrist’s last big league game was all the way back on May 6th, but his next big league game may be drawing ever nearer.
Here’s the latest:
Ben Zobrist will join the Iowa Cubs on Thursday in Memphis. He'll be there Thursday to Sunday and then, as has been the case since he started up again, they'll reevaluate on Monday.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 13, 2019
After deciding he was, in fact, going to work his way back to the Cubs by way of the Minor League affiliate trail, Ben Zobrist has gotten into six games so far this month (three at A-Ball in South Bend and three more at High-A in Myrtle Beach). Given the presumed September 1st callup date (when rosters expand anyway), I had assumed he’d make another stop at Tennessee before reaching Iowa, but apparently that’s not going to happen.
According to Sahadev Sharma (and now others), Zobrist will make his next stop in Triple-A Iowa *this weekend*, where he’ll presumably appear in 3-4 games from Thursday to Sunday and take it from there.
Obviously, “skipping levels” doesn’t mean the same thing for Zobrist as it would a prospect, but it’s also not nothing. For a 38-year-old guy who’s taken so much time off this season to be this aggressive in his comeback is pretty unexpected. I had just assumed he’d take the entire month (and every stop available), but if he’s going to be done with 3-4 Triple-A games by the 19th, you have to wonder if they’ll act sooner.
I still think waiting until September 1st when rosters expand will be the path of least resistance *and* give Zobrist the most time and best chance to acclimate himself to big league pitching, but if he’s feeling good, looking productive, and getting very anxious to return, I guess you can’t count anything out. Let’s get through this weekend first, though, and take it from there.
So far, Zobrist has 4 hits in 19 at-bats with 2HRs and 3 walks against 5 strikeouts.