For the first time since May, Ben Zobrist will be back in a Cubs uniform tonight in the second game of a two-game set against the Mariners. Not only is he back, but he will hit in the leadoff spot.
Zobrist took a leave of absence in May to deal with his divorce and spend time with his family. Cubs fans are eager to get a fan-favorite player like Zobrist back at Wrigley, but a big question lingers — will he contribute the way he used to? Coming off a rehab assignment where he hit .189, it will be interesting to see what he can do for this Cubs team that has lacked a consistent leadoff hitter since Dexter Fowler in 2016. Before his leave of absence, Zobrist was slashing .241/.343/.253 with ten RBIs and just one extra-base hit.
In addition to Zobrist, Willson Contreras returns to the lineup tonight. He will bat fifth and catch for the first time since dealing with a hamstring injury in early August. Contreras, who is hitting .275 with 19 home runs this season, will add much-needed motivation to a lineup that has struggled recently. It’s time to buckle up and enjoy the ride that is September on the North Side.
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