Cubs Don't Have Sense Of When Zobrist Will Return

Ben Zobrist is on a leave of absence as he goes through divorce proceedings.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
May 16, 2019 - 11:40 am
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(670 The Score) The Cubs remain uncertain when infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist may return to the team, general manager Jed Hoyer said, as he remains on a leave of absence in going through divorce proceedings with his wife, Julianna.

Zobrist, 37, has been away from the Cubs since being a late scratch to the lineup on May 7. 

"We are in contact with Ben on a regular basis to make sure he's doing well," Hoyer said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Thursday morning. 

"We don't have a sense of exactly when this might end, when he may come back. There's a little uncertainty there, and of course that creeps into the baseball part. But it does feel somewhat inappropriate to talk about in that way. So we're going to sort of limit statements on this, and just everyone should know, we have his best interests in mind and the family's best interests in mind. We want him to take as much time as possible to get that part of his life in order."

The Cubs are comfortable having patience with the situation, Hoyer said.

"There's no deadline," Hoyer said. "We can take this day to day. Whatever time increment you want to use on it, we do. Listen, he's such a valuable piece to this organization from a makeup standpoint, from a baseball standpoint, from a leadership standpoint. We just want what's best for him. We want to help him get back to where he has been in the past."

Zobrist, 37, was the MVP of the World Series when the Cubs broke their 108-year championship drought in 2016. He 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.

"He would be the first to admit that he wasn't quite himself," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on May 8. "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."