Ben Zobrist provides pre-game spread for Single-A South Bend

Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cubs utilityman Ben Zobrist has been away from the team since early May. It was later revealed to be because of a messy divorce. Zobrist, however, began a rehab assignment with Single-A South Bend over the weekend. He’s expected to need most or all of the month of August to get back into game shape.

Per the team’s Twitter, Zobrist provided the pre-game spread — a bunch of food from McDonald’s.

It a really nice gesture from Zobrist. You see this from time to time when well-known veterans get sent on rehab assignments in the minors. Major leaguers, with their guaranteed contracts and minimum $555,000 salaries, do a nice thing for the minor leaguers who don’t have those luxuries. Yu Darvish, for example, bought steak and lobster for South Bend on a rehab assignment last year.

It would be nice if minor leaguers didn’t have to rely on the kindness of veteran players and locals to afford to eat. Zobrist essentially subsidized the Cubs’ frugality. The Cubs — valued by Forbes at $3.1 billion earlier this year — should be paying for that spread, not one of its players. Let’s not forget that Major League Baseball lobbied to have language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 changed so that minor league players could not qualify as seasonal workers, which would mean they are not owed a minimum wage and overtime pay. With more take-home pay, minor leaguers could afford to go to grocery stores and, for example, buy the ingredients to make a salad or just buy a pre-made salad.

Due to relative cheapness and ubiquity, unhealthy fast food is a major part of minor leaguers’ diets. One would think a billion-dollar business like a major league team would want to ensure that its investments — minor league players — have the highest chance of yielding big returns by providing them healthy food options. Alas, that is not the case for most organizations.

Stanton, Donaldson, Kahnle activated by Yankees ahead of Dodgers series

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, and Tommy Kahnle were activated by the New York Yankees ahead of their weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

New York cleared three roster spots after a 1-0 loss at Seattle, optioning infielder-outfielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre along with left-hander Matt Krook.

Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle all played in a rehab game for Double-A Somerset. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats in his first appearance since injuring his left hamstring on April 15.

Donaldson went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game as he comes back from a strained right hamstring originally sustained on April 5.

Kahnle pitched one inning, giving up one run and one hit and walking two. He has been out since spring training with right biceps tendinitis.

Aaron Boone said he wasn’t concerned about Stanton returning after playing in just one rehab game. He did say that Stanton likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of weeks after rejoining the Yankees.

New York is missing centerfielder Harrison Bader, who strained his right hamstring against the Mariners and went on the injured list the next day.

Left-hander Carlos Rodón, sidelined since spring training by a sore left forearm and an ailing back, was transferred to the 60-day injured list.