Ben Zobrist hasn’t played in a baseball game in six days. After being a key part of the Cubs’ crazy rally against the Braves last Saturday, Zobrist has grabbed some bench.
… well, that’s not all the context now is it? The Cubs have played just two games since Saturday thanks to inclement weather, but Zobrist did not appear in either game. That is due to a back issue, which left him out of the starting lineup again yesterday, but available to pinch hit, if necessary. Thankfully, he got a full day off.
So what’s the status? Will he be able to go in Colorado this weekend? The Cubs could certainly use his scorching hot bat (.326/.408/.465, 145 wRC+).
Zobrist was able to hit in the cages yesterday, and, like I said, was available to pinch hit. Those are good signs. He tells Cubs.com that he feels discomfort in certain positions, which is different from the “stuck” feeling in his back during Spring Training, which slowed his start. He’s being cautious, given some back issues in his history (and, I’d add, his age).
It’s not yet a lock that he’ll sit out again tonight against the Rockies, and it sounds like it’ll depend on how he feels after the travel and setting up shop.
I’m all for caution, especially early in the season, and for that reason, I can’t help but point out: if Zobrist isn’t going to play today, a disabled list stint could be backdated so far that he’d already have served 7 of the required minimum 10 days on the DL. In other words, if the Cubs don’t want to play shorthanded for the next few days, they could DL Zobrist now, get an extra bat in the house, and then Zobrist could come off the DL on Wednesday, having missed only six games (of which he’d already have missed three if he sits tonight).
The Cubs would need to know by this morning, though, so they could have a minor leaguer there and ready out in Denver.
Hopefully Zobrist is ready to go today – and is still quite hot at the plate – and this is all moot.