Although he’d returned to the big league team a few days earlier, it didn’t feel like Ben Zobrist actually returned to the Cubs until he walked out on the field last night.
The ovation was something:
Zobrist ultimately struck out (hey, what’s new for a Cubs leadoff hitter this year?), but he took it to a full count in the process, working an at bat. In three of his four plate appearances, Zobrist saw at least six pitches. The one plate appearance where he didn’t? He surprised the Mariners with a bunt on the first pitch for a single.
We still don’t know what Zobrist’s performance level will be like going forward, and I’d caution folks to keep those expectations way in check. But, at a minimum, for last night, he was a very competent at bat out there.
It was just nice to have him back, and nice for him to be back:
"It was great… the last couple days I've been itching to get out there"
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) September 4, 2019
Of the Zobrist return, Willson Contreras perhaps put it best, as he was also returning to the team (hamstring).
“He’s a role model – a role model to follow,” Contreras told Cubs.com. “For me, he’s a huge example to look up to. He’s going to help us a lot, only by watching him going through his [routine], how professional he is. He’s just amazing.”
Welcome back, Ben.