(CBS) Ben Zobrist was the Cubs’ primary second baseman for most of the 2016 season before moving to the outfield more often late in the regular season and regularly in the playoffs.
Given the Cubs’ championship result and 24-year-old infielder Javier Baez’s continued growth, the 35-year-old Zobrist now envisions filling a what he calls “a little bit more of a super-utility” role.
Zobrist started 113 games at second base, 18 in right field and 11 in left field in the 2016 regular season, according to baseball-reference.com. He’s prepared for whatever scenario presents itself now, even if he hasn’t discussed anything at length with manager Joe Maddon.
“Joe knows me, and I know him well enough to know (that),” Zobrist said on the Bernstein and Goff Show on Tuesday afternoon. “I played second base a lot last year the first three months of the year, and then they started switching it around the second half of the year. With Javy’s emergence and how well he played at the end of last year and how well he was hitting offensively no matter who was on the mound, defensively he’s so great out there no matter where you put him, we had to get him in there. So that’s going to happen a little bit more this year as well, getting him at second, short, third a little bit more often than he was the first half of the year last year. I think probably give me a few more days rest.
“With (Kyle) Schwarber added into the action in left field, my guess is I’ll play a little bit of outfield as well, but I become a little bit more of a super-utility guy again as opposed to just a starting second baseman.”
Listen to Zobrist’s full interview on the Bernstein and Goff Show below.