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Cubs

Cubs' Joe Maddon: 'I'm here to do my job.'

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon watches Javier Baez during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Saturday, July 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon watches Javier Baez during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Saturday, July 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO – Before the series between the Cubs and the White Sox, Cubs president Theo Epstein said he wasn’t putting the blame for his team’s struggles on manager Joe Maddon.

On Sunday, Maddon seemed to take it in stride.

“I didn’t know that,” Maddon said of Epstein’s comments. “I do my job. That’s what I’ve done. Theo and I get along wonderfully. I just respect his intelligence so much. [General manager Jed Hoyer] is a big part of that, too. All these guys. Just as a group, we have really straightforward discussions, and I like that a lot. I have no issues with anything like that. I’m here to do my job, and I try to stay in my own lane. I feel pretty good about it.”

Can Zobrist help?: Maddon sounded cautiously optimistic that the Cubs could get veteran infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist back before the season is over.

Zobrist has been on the restricted list for two months as he deals with family issues.

“When you’re laid off from playing for a bit, you don’t know exactly what to expect,” Maddon said. “I think the presence alone, no question, provides an emotional lift. Then after that, you just need performance. I don’t know exactly what he’s been doing. I’m very aware of time off and what it means for a guy to come back on and try to perform at that level.

“These guys [on the current roster] have been playing all summer. They’re rocking and rolling, and they’re up to speed. Zo’s a quick study, I know that. I don’t know what to expect except that I would say for certain that the presence alone would be uplifting.”

Injury updates: Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. (left thoracic strain) will continue rehabbing at Triple-A Iowa after the All-Star break. Edwards has been on the injured list since June 10. Pitcher Allen Webster (radial nerve inflammation) is rehabbing at Double-A Tennessee.

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