When Seiya Suzuki got off the plane in Chicago on Monday, he headed to Wrigley Field to hit. Suzuki had just returned from Japan, where he and his wife, Airi Hatakeyama, celebrated the birth of their first child.
“So, that tells you everything about his work ethic and who he is,” said Ross, who recounted Suzuki’s travel schedule the next day. “He’s a really hard worker and loves his craft. Congratulations to him and Airi-san.”
On Tuesday, the Cubs reinstated Suzuki from the restricted list — in a clerical move, they’d transferred him from the paternity list to the restricted list when he reached the three-day maximum.
They also activated catcher Willson Contreras from the injured list, optioned infielder/outfielder Jared Young to Triple-A Iowa and designated outfielder Michael Hermosillo for assignment.
Contreras, who was on the IL for over two weeks with a sprained left ankle, served as the designated hitter Tuesday against the Phillies, batting third in order.
Suzuki was not in the starting lineup. The Cubs still wanted to examine his hand before the game. Two weeks ago, he was hit in the hand by a pitch in the series finale against the Mets. The next game, he entered in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement. He went on the paternity list the next day.
Suzuki was on a hot streak at the time, batting .314 since mid-August, with three home runs in the month of September.
“You saw when he got locked in, the timing looked better, he was all connected in the box mechanically,” Ross said. “And you saw more aggressive swings, right-center left-center power. That’s the guy that he knows he is and we believe he is. So, just being that player consistently is what I know he works hard on.”
Madrigal out for season
Ross made it official on Tuesday.
“He’s done,” he said of second baseman Nick Madrigal’s snakebitten season.
Madrigal has been on the 10-day injured list for two and a half weeks with a strained right groin. Injuries have plagued his season. He’s also served IL stints for a strained left groin and a strained low back. His season ends after 59 appearances.