Ben Zobrist will begin his trek back to the bigs by immediately reporting to Chicago. The Cubs staff will check him out and then send the 2016 World Series MVP to Class-A South Bend for “at least a few days,” according to David Kaplan.
Sources tell me that Ben Zobrist is expected to arrive in Chicago tomorrow and will be heading to South Bend to train with the Cubs Class A team for at least a few days. His plan for getting in baseball shape remains fluid for the next three weeks.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) August 2, 2019
Zobrist will then be evaluated after three weeks in order to determine whether he’s in “baseball shape.” That time frame fits previous reports about a potential September 1 return, but that’s a pretty quick turnaround for a 38-year-old who has been away nearly all season handling family affairs during a divorce.
If Zobrist is capable, his bat bolsters the Cubs’ depth in the heat of a pennant race. In 520 plate appearances last season, the aging switch-hitter batted .305 — his best average in any season — and created 23% more runs than an average hitter.
Even though the Cubs would love for Zobrist to make it back because of both his bat and his professionalism his return is not guaranteed, said Theo Epstein.
“Go work out, let’s get you in some games and tell us how you feel.”