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Cubs set to activate Zobrist from DL Saturday

Bote boosting team with versatility; Farrell experiences first bullpen dance
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- The Cubs expect Ben Zobrist to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. Zobrist has been sidelined since April 14 because of tightness in his back.

On Thursday and Friday, Zobrist ran the bases and took batting practice at Wrigley Field, and he said he was ready to go. The switch-hitter batted .326 in 13 games this season.

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CHICAGO -- The Cubs expect Ben Zobrist to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. Zobrist has been sidelined since April 14 because of tightness in his back.

On Thursday and Friday, Zobrist ran the bases and took batting practice at Wrigley Field, and he said he was ready to go. The switch-hitter batted .326 in 13 games this season.

View Full Game Coverage

Around the horn

David Bote made his third start at third base on Friday, subbing for Kris Bryant, who has missed four straight games after being hit in the head by a pitch.

Bote has played everywhere but catcher and center field during his Minor League career. It's something he's wanted to do since he was drafted by the Cubs in the 18th round in 2012.

"I wanted to really learn how to prep my work beforehand, and on the days I'm not playing, I take ground balls at multiple positions and take reads in the outfield," Bote said on Friday. "On days I am playing certain positions, I take all my reps there. I enjoy it. It keeps it fun."

Video: CHC@COL: Bote on major league debut, first hit

Does he consider himself a third baseman? A second baseman?

"A baseball player," Bote said.

On Friday, Cubs clubhouse manager Tom Hellmann presented Bote with a lamenated copy of the lineup card from his Major League debut on Saturday. He's also got his jersey and a ball from the game as souvenirs. He's taking advantage of his callup and not trying to do too much.

"I'm not Kris Bryant. Nor do I try to be," Bote said. "He's a special breed. They asked me to play as David, and that's what I'm going to do."

• On Thursday night, reliever Luke Farrell got his first chance to dance in the Cubs' bullpen along with the other relievers when they celebrate home runs.

"They said, 'You're right here in the middle,'" Farrell said Friday. "I did not practice. It was a little premeditated. There was a little bit of discussion on what might work, what might be funny."

The Cubs' Twitter account showed a GIF of Farrell's debut, and his response was, "I need more practice."

Tweet from @Luke_T_Farrell: I need more practice @kschwarb12 #Carlton #EverybodyIn https://t.co/abvjoysHqo

"I've been surprised at the Twitter responses -- it's been pretty funny," Farrell said. "The majority are saying it needs a little more work."

What was a little more special was Farrell's return to Cleveland on Tuesday. His father, John, had pitched for the Indians.

"Going back there was really cool, because I spent a lot of time in that clubhouse growing up," Farrell said. "I spent a little time as the bat boy for the clubhouse manager, Tony Amato. I knew [Indians manager Terry Francona] from working and playing with my dad and [coach] Brad Mills. I went to high school about five minutes from the stadium [in Cleveland]. It's special to go back."

• Prior to Saturday's Brewers-Cubs game, Hailey Dawson will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. The 7-year-old's goal is to throw out a first pitch for every Major League Baseball team, and she has done so wearing a robotic hand in each team's colors.

Tweet from @haileys_hand: This is for you @Cubs. See you on Saturday. So exciting! @MLB pic.twitter.com/QlZQJET9MV

Dawson has Poland syndrome, and she was born without a right pectoral muscle due to a lack of blood supply during the sixth to seventh week of gestation.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, David Bote, Ben Zobrist