SOUTH BEND – As first reported by NBC Sports Chicago personality David Kaplan and additional media outlets, Ben Zobrist is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment with the South Bend Cubs beginning tonight when the club hosts the West Michigan Whitecaps at 7:35 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. He is expected to be in South Bend through the weekend.
Zobrist has been on the Chicago Cubs restricted list since May 7 but played in 26 games to start the 2019 season. In that stretch, Zobrist was batting .241 with 10 RBI and 14 walks. Zobrist, a Eureka, Illinois, native, was named the World Series MVP in 2016 after a 10-for-28 performance against the Cleveland Indians in seven games. He had the game-winning hit in game seven to lead the Cubs to their World Championship.
Zobrist has missed the time dealing with personal matters related to divorce proceedings with his wife, Julianna.
“We have complete and utter trust in Zo as a person and Zo as a professional,” Chicago Cubs president of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said. “He knows everything that it takes, especially at his age, to play at a high level. Everything that it takes physically, everything that it takes mentally. If he tells us that he thinks he can give this a shot and that he has a chance to return and play at a high level, then we trust him.”
This will be the seventh different player to appear in South Bend and the ninth total Major League rehab assignment since the club became a Chicago Cubs affiliate. Dexter Fowler had a one game assignment on July 8, 2016, while Jason Heyward had two stints in 2017. In 2018, Yu Darvish pitched on June 25 and August 19 at Four Winds Field while former Cub, Drew Smyly, pitched one inning on August 30. This season on April 17, Mike Montgomery tossed two shutout innings at Four Winds Field. Also in May of this season, catcher Victor Caratini played in five games for South Bend.
The South Bend Cubs current series against West Michigan will conclude tonight. Starting on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m., South Bend will host the Great Lakes Loons for four games until Tuesday to end the homestand. Gates open for Saturday night’s game at 5 p.m. and Sunday afternoon’s game at 12 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the South Bend Cubs Box Office, calling (574) 235-9988, or by going to SouthBendCubs.com.
Fans who have purchased lawn tickets are allowed to bring lawn chairs or blankets into the ballpark.