Rays to get Ben Zobrist back Friday

Ben Zobrist will return to the Rays Friday.
Ben Zobrist will return to the Rays Friday. (USATSI)

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The Rays are off Thursday, but have already optioned infielder Cole Figueroa to Triple-A Durham because second baseman Ben Zobrist is set to return to the active big-league roster Friday (via MLB.com), when the Rays begin a three-game series in Boston.

Zobrist, 33, is hitting .260/.352/.364 (105 OPS+) with seven doubles, three homers, nine RBI and 24 runs in 40 games this season. He's been out since May 14 after suffering a left thumb dislocation.

It'll be interesting to see where manager Joe Maddon employs Zobrist in the batting order. He's hit leadoff 19 times this season, batted second 10 times and third nine times. The Rays have settled in with David DeJesus at the top and Evan Longoria in the two-hole of late.

The Rays enter Thursday nine games back in the AL East with a record of 23-31.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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