Chicago Cubs infielder Ben Zobrist hasn’t played in a game since May, but it appears he will begin making his way back on Friday, as multiple reports indicate he will begin a minor league stint.
Zobrist, who has been on the restricted list after filing for divorce from his wife Julianna, will report to the Cubs’ Class-A affiliate in South Bend, according to reports from Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune and David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago.
Since Zobrist is not currently on the Cubs’ 40-man roster, he would have to accept a roster move optioning him to the minor leagues in order to start back on the path toward big league baseball.
Zobrist has 10 RBIs and one extra-base hit in 99 plate appearances this season, and has appeared in 26 games for the Cubs. The expectation is that Zobrist will be activated before Sept. 1 in order to be eligible for postseason play, giving him nearly a full month to prepare for his return.
The South Bend Cubs will be in action on Friday night against the West Michigan Whitecaps, a Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.