Theo Epstein provides update on Ben Zobrist


by - Senior Writer -
Ben Zobrist completed his minor-league stint and is now facing live pitching back home. (Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Ben Zobrist completed his minor-league stint and is now facing live pitching back home. (Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

After rounding out his minor-league rehab stint over the weekend, Chicago Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist is back home in Nashville, Tenn., where he is preparing to return to the Cubs when the rosters expand on Sept. 1. According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Zobrist will spend the week facing live pitching before being activated off the restricted list.

"He's in pretty good shape," Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said of Zobrist. "It's really just about his timing, being able to be ready for the fastball and also adjust to secondary stuff. So that's what he's working on right now against live pitching."

Epstein revealed that select pitchers from the Cubs' organization are throwing to Zobrist in simulated at-bats modeled after in-game situations. Zobrist has been on unpaid leave since early May but is guaranteed to return to the Cubs in the coming days. While Zobrist will not play every day for the Cubs, he could potentially garner several starts down the stretch.

When speaking on Zobrist's value, Epstein said, "We still think, utilized the right way and in the right matchups and not asking him to do too much, that he can really help us."

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