The Rays infielder/outfielder returned in time to pinch-hit during the eighth inning of Tampa Bay's 4-2 loss to the Yankees in Game 1 of its doubleheader on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Zobrist struck out swinging.
Maddon was asked before the game if he felt Zobrist should have already been back.
"For me, family's always first," Maddon said. "And from what I understand, there was a little procedure with the baby this morning also that he wanted to be present for. Listen, I would never interfere with something like that or even try to influence that decision. For me, it's up to the individual."
Maddon said the baby "is fine."
"It wasn't anything serious, but there was something being done. I can understand why he wanted to be there," Maddon said.
Maddon was asked if he thought Zobrist was conflicted in any way about whether to be with his wife during and after the delivery or be with the team.
"Zo's never conflicted," Maddon said. "Zo's not a conflicted person, and he knew exactly what he thought was the right thing to do, and he conveyed that to me. And when you talk to a guy like Zo, I pretty much just listen. I'm not going to try and influence the way he thinks. So he told me what he thought and how he wanted to do it. And again, if you knew him like I know him, that was good enough for me."