Cubs activate Ben Zobrist as veteran utility man rejoins roster for first time since early May

On Saturday, the Chicago Cubs reinstated veteran utility player Ben Zobrist from the restricted list for the first time since May, when he left the team due to personal reasons. Zobrist, who recently began a rehab assignment, addressed the media about his personal life, his retirement plans, and more ahead of Sunday's game versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

For the most part, Zobrist said what you'd expect him to say. That he walked away because he couldn't dedicate all of his focus to the game; that he hopes to heal his relationship with his wife; that he isn't sure if he'll retire at season's end; and that he's not quite there, so far as his swing-timing goes. Here are a few tweets to provide more context on those summaries:

If Zobrist can find his timing in September, he could provide the Cubs with a boost. Sure, he hadn't performed well in his 26 games this season. But it's probably fair to assume some of his poor play (he had a 58 OPS+ in 99 trips to the plate) had to do with his off-the-field issues.

Besides, Zobrist doesn't have to play like his old All-Star-caliber self to be a useful bench player. The Cubs have a solid lineup in place for the most part, and adding one more layer of depth -- especially in the last month, when rosters are bloated and teams want to get healthy ahead of the postseason -- is a luxury that the Cubs would surely welcome.

At minimum, Zobrist has been a productive player and respected human being throughout his 14-season career. Even if he doesn't author any memorable moments in September, it's nice that he could go out this way -- as part of the team -- rather than out of sight and out of mind.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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