The Chicago Cubs are currently playing without utility man, and veteran presence Ben Zobrist, who is on the restricted list as a result of seeking a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter. It’s not clear when he will be back with the Cubs.
Zobrist, who turns 38 later this month, missed time in Spring Training on another leave of absence, and the Cubs are rightly going to be very accommodating of whatever is going on in Zobrist’s life right now.
“Yes, he would be the first to admit that he wasn’t quite himself [this year],” manager Joe Maddon told Bruce Levine of 670 The Score. “We are just wanting this to work out for him obviously and be patient with the whole thing. I will stay in touch with him in a different way and being a good ear for him when it is necessary. Those are the things you do in these moments. You think about your internal relationships with your family. You never run away from your folks, from your people regardless of how awful the situation is or seem you need to be there for them.”
President Theo Epstein would not comment beyond this statement, per Cubs.com: “The only thing appropriate for me to communicate is that he’s requested a leave of absence from the team for personal family reasons. That leave was granted, and he’ll be away from the team for a period of time, and that, if and when it’s appropriate for him to provide further detail or clarification, he will.”
I know fans want to know more details in these situations, but this is all we’re going to get right now, and this is also probably all that is appropriate for us to know. I wish Zobrist and his family/friends/etc. the best in whatever is going on, and I hope it is resolved in a positive way, whatever that realistically means.