Although it’s been the expectation now for a little while as he worked his way back into playing shape in the minors, only now do we have the actual confirmation: Ben Zobrist is coming back to the Cubs!
Cubs Ben Zobrist will be activated Sunday. Because the Cubs face lefty Gio Gonzalez, Zobrist ( Zobrist better hitter from left side) may not start until Monday.Maddon said he will not hesitate to leadoff the lineup with Zobrist .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) August 30, 2019
Rosters expand to the full 40-man on Sunday, so it always made sense to target that as a return date. A 40-man spot will need to be opened up for Zobrist, who is currently on the restricted list.
Zobrist, 38, has been away from the big league club since May as he attended to a divorce and the family matters that attend to that situation with three kids. The Cubs gave Zobrist the space he needed, and then supported him with a structure that helped get him back up to game speed. Well, I suppose that last part is not a guarantee, but we’ll see when he’s back.
As Levine indicates, Zobrist may not start immediately, and he may not even start regularly at all through September, depending on how he looks and how other options are playing. But having his presence back with the team, having his switch-hitting bat available, and having his steady and versatile defense is going to improve this club.
I am really excited that he is coming back to the Cubs this weekend, as he heads into the final month of his four-year contract with the team. If the Cubs make the postseason, it’s possible Zobrist will be on the roster, it’s possible he won’t. And from there, it’s very much TBD on Zobrist’s playing future.