The Chicago Cubs talked a lot about how the 2017 season wasn’t as good as it could have been because they were sufffering from a World Series hangover. Ben Zobrist, having reported to Spring Training camp has said he believes the hangover is over and the team is feeling a hunger for winning again.

Ben Zobrist, leadoff hitter?

When it comes to the Cubs leadoff hitter, there is an open question on just who might fill the role. The void just might be filled by the Cubs’ oldest player. Zobrist has had plenty of experience in the leadoff role in the last few years.

While he isn’t the stereotypical man to put there, he has done a serviceable job. Chicago has a very distinct shortage of other options.

The utility man believes that if he is asked to leadoff this year, the results are going to be quite a bit different. As the Chicago Tribune points out, he played most of the season with a hurt wrist. That drove his average and power down to the basement and made him someone that looked as if his career might be heading towards the end.

In the final months of the season, when he was finally healthy he looked a bit more like the versatile bat the Cubs had leaned on in 2016. Zobrist says his wrist is 100% now and he plans on contributing quite a bit more.

Cubs might be cutting Zobrist’s time down

When Ben Zobrist returns to the team in 2018, it appears he will be seeing some reduced playing time. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that the Cubs have a ton of young players that are going to need to see the field. The second is that he is 36 years old. There is going to need to be a reduction of time in his playing time in order to stay fresh.

Of course, if Zobrist is showing that he is indeed entirely healthy and ready to go, he’ll be able to see a bit more playing time. Especially since the team is looking for someone who can man the leadoff spot over the course of the season.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Madden made it clear he’s quite interested in seeing what Zobrist has to offer in 2018.

It seems as if there might be a way to keep him fresh by moving him around the field. This could include playing first base in order to give Anthony Rizzo a breather every now and then.

All parties involved have said they are going to find it more important to communicate. Zobrist will be making sure to tell people when he isn’t feeling all that well. The Cubs believe they need Zobrist to stay healthy and happy in order to bring the team a veteran presence.