Cubs

/ by Tony Andracki
Presented By Cubs Insiders
Cubs

Ben Zobrist will see more action on the minor-league fields this weekend.

The Cubs announced Tuesday evening the veteran switch-hitter will play for Double-A Tennessee Thursday night in Jackson, Tenn. Then, Zobrist would head back to Iowa where he will play with the Cubs' Triple-A team Friday and Saturday (the Iowa Cubs have a day game Thursday). 

By the time Zobrist is done with his game on Saturday, that could be the one-week mark of his return to the big leagues. If he's activated off the restricted list by the end of the day on Saturday, Aug. 31, he would be eligible for the postseason.

In nine games with Iowa, Advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach and Class-A South Bend over the last couple weekends, Zobrist is hitting .222/.344/.481, good for an .825 OPS with 2 homers and 4 RBI. 

When Zobrist returns, he figures to slot in part-time at second base, as the Cubs already have a pretty stable outfield trio of Jason Heyward-Nicholas Castellanos-Kyle Schwarber.

It remains to be seen whether Joe Maddon will insert Zobrist into the leadoff spot when the veteran switch-hitter is in the lineup, but either way, he could present a nice boost for the team ahead of the stretch run, both on the field and in the clubhouse.

"I've never played with Ben, but I've heard that he's an incredible guy and an even better teammate," said Castellanos, who gave the Cubs an early lead Tuesday night with another first-inning homer.

 

Zobrist's timeline could coincide nicely for the Cubs since catcher Willson Contreras is projected back in early September. The bullpen is back at full strength once again with Steve Cishek activated off the IL Tuesday and Brandon Kintzler and Craig Kimbrel returning on the recent road trip.

But a lot can happen in the next two weeks and Zobrist still has a couple boxes to check before the Cubs can count on him for the final month of the season.