Ben Zobrist Leaves Cubs For Personal Reasons

There's no timeline for Zobrist's return after he was granted a leave of absence.

Bruce Levine
May 08, 2019 - 9:05 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Cubs have granted infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist a leave of absence for personal reasons, and a timeline for his return is unclear at this time.

Zobrist was a late scratch from the lineup as the Cubs beat the Marlins on Tuesday night, and they revealed that they've placed him on the restricted list Wednesday. Zobrist, 37, has struggled this season, hitting .241 with a .596 OPS and just one extra-base hit in 83 at-bats. His .253 slugging percentage is the lowest of any position player on the team.

Manager Joe Maddon responded "it could have, yeah" when asked if Zobrist's personal matter has had an impact on his poor start.

"It can happen," Maddon said. "Yes, he would be the first to admit that he wasn't quite himself. 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."

Zobrist reported five days late to Cubs spring training due to a personal matter that was excused by the team. The Cubs front office approved his time away from the team then and now.

"The only appropriate thing for me to say is he requested time away for personal family reasons and that was granted," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. "He will be away from the team for a period of time."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.