CINCINNATI -- The Cubs' list of walking wounded is slowly being trimmed. Benjamin Zobrist was activated from the disabled list on Saturday, and outfielder Jason Heyward is headed to Class A South Bend to begin a rehab assignment. Kyle Hendricks also is close to throwing off the mound. As Cubs
CINCINNATI -- The Cubs' list of walking wounded is slowly being trimmed. Benjamin Zobrist was activated from the disabled list on Saturday, and outfielder Jason Heyward is headed to Class A South Bend to begin a rehab assignment. Kyle Hendricks also is close to throwing off the mound. As Cubs manager Joe Maddon likes to say, the band is getting back together.
Heyward scraped his left hand chasing a ball in foul territory at PNC Park on June 18. The outfielder hit in the batting cage on Saturday, and he left during the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the Reds to join the Minor League team.
Zobrist had been sidelined since June 16 because of inflammation in his left wrist. Mark Zagunis was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the roster.
In two rehab games with Double-A Tennessee, Zobrist was 3-for-6 with a pair of walks while playing second base, left field and right field. He rode in a car four hours from Tennessee to Cincinnati for the Cubs' game against the Reds.
"It's hard to play when you're injured, and I tried to do that for a while," said Zobrist, who grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday. "It's nice to finally feel healthy."
If the Cubs can get Zobrist, Heyward and Hendricks (right hand inflammation) back, they'll be almost at full strength.
"There's a lot of good things in the near future," Maddon said.
• Maddon managed the American League All-Star team in 2009, and he remembers all the work involved to put the roster together. This year has been much simpler because Major League Baseball is handling the roster, which will be announced on Sunday. Maddon will manage the National League team in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which will be played July 11 in Miami.
"The difference is I have a lot less to say about this, the league has everything to say about it, which I'm fine with," Maddon said. "It really eliminates the potential for some difficult conversations when you can please nobody. ... I like that the league is handling the situation -- it's great and fair and good for everybody."
• Maddon holds three team meetings each year: One in Spring Training, another at the All-Star break, and the third is prior to the postseason. When will he do the second session?
"I'm still debating whether to do it before we leave [for the All-Star break], which I may," Maddon said.
"What I normally attempt to do in a pragmatic way is present what's happened, what I think can happen," he said. "I revisit a lot of what we talked about in Spring Training. It's always simple, not complicated. [I want to] maybe jog minds about what we talked about -- we've done really well at this, we may have gotten away from this ... that kind of conversation."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.