Cubs: Veteran Jason Kipnis could be Cubs 2020 David Ross

Jason Kipnis, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jason Kipnis, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jason Kipnis, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The Dirtbag comes home to the Northside

The way Kipnis still feels about the game of baseball can be summed up in his Indians nickname, the ‘Dirtbag,’ which was given to him when he moved from the outfield to second base and began diving for every ball in his zone. He proudly accepted the nickname as there wasn’t a game that went by that Kipnis wasn’t giving it his all on the field and finishing with a dirt-soiled uniform after going for loose balls.

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Kipnis has a baseball-boy soul, similar to former Cub Ben Zobrist. Zobrist and Ross are older than Kipnis and have a few more seasons under their belts, but that’s also the reason the team is feeling good about Kipnis and unfortunately, not picking up the Zobrist contract.  Kipnis still has some time left in his career and adds the excitement of getting to come home, and this could be an excellent season for the newest Chicago Cub.

Kipnis is four or five years younger than Zobrist and so enters the team on similar footing of Zobrist in 2016. While Zobrist arrived in 2016, going into his 11th season, Kipnis will arrive to the Cubs in his 10th season; if he gets called to action.

In 2016, when Zobrist arrived at the Friendly Confines, he put up 18 home runs and 76 RBIs in 147 games. Kipnis will come back home to Chicago with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs in 121 games under his belt from last season with the Indians before getting injured.

Fans will recall that Zobrist’s numbers declined after that 2016 season and never returned. If Kipnis is in the same glide path of father time, then this one-year, $1 million minor-league deal, could be the last chance for Kipnis to make a difference anywhere, before he hangs up his cleats.