Cubs News: Seiya Suzuki injury update

Cubs News: Seiya Suzuki injury update


by - Senior Editor -

Seiya Suzuki, the 28-year-old right fielder for the Chicago Cubs, is expected to start the season on the injured list due to a left oblique strain he sustained in late February.

However, the pace at which he has shown improvement could impact the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.

During a round of batting practice on Saturday morning at the Cubs’ complex, Suzuki put on a show for the fans and media with his power display.

"It's nice and loud out there. It's coming off the bat well -- home runs. I need to close my eyes," Ross said to the media. "I know he's been hitting in the cage and it's all been good feedback, but it looks like the ball is coming off well. He's free and easy, very simple. And he'll throw to some bases and stuff, and start to get into some Minor League games just playing some defense, hopefully, real soon."

Cubs manager David Ross declined to discuss specifics but acknowledged that Suzuki’s progress and potential timetable will be a factor in the upcoming roster decisions.

The next step for Suzuki is to play defense in a minor league game but with no hitting.

The Cubs were hoping for a breakout season for Suzuki, who is entering the second season under the five-year, $85 million contract he signed last spring.

In 111 games in 2022, he hit .262/.336/.433 with 14 homers, 22 doubles, and a 116 OPS+ in an up-and-down, injury-impacted rookie year.

If Suzuki is able to return earlier in April than anticipated, that could alter how the team weighs adding a non-roster option, like Mike Tauchman, or sticking with a player like Christopher Morel, who is on the 40-man roster and has minor league options.

Until Suzuki returns, the Cubs have multiple options for right field, including Trey Mancini and Patrick Wisdom. Morel can play all over the infield and outfield, and Tauchman has impressed the manager this spring, as well, and has the ability to play all three outfield spots.

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