Ben Zobrist To Join Class-A South Bend Cubs

The Cubs expect Zobrist to need most or all of August to round into form.

Mully & Haugh Show
August 02, 2019 - 8:06 am

(670 The Score) Veteran Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist is reporting to Class-A South Bend on Friday to begin his work toward returning to the big league team, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein confirmed.

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Zobrist, 38, took a personal leave of absence from the Cubs in early May as he went through divorce proceedings. He hasn't played since May 6, but that will change soon.

Zobrist will work out and is expected to play the next few days with South Bend, then will have some scheduled time off as the Cubs look to ease him back amid his increased activity. South Bend opens a five-game homestand Friday evening.

Eventually, Zobrist will work his way up to Triple-A and then the big leagues.

"We're expecting this to take most of if not all of August," Epstein said on the Mully & Haugh Show. "He's been working out. He's been performing baseball activities on his way, but he's obviously got to see a lot of live pitching. We'll see how it goes. He's going to start with three games in South Bend and then take a few days off, (so as) not to do too much too soon and then reassess. I think it's safe to say there will be a number of spots at a number of different affiliates and certainly there will be some Triple-A time before he ultimately comes up here."

Zobrist was the MVP of the World Series when the Cubs broke their 108-year championship drought in 2016. He struggled earlier this season before stepping away, hitting .241 with a .596 OPS and just one extra-base hit in 83 at-bats.