Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki got in one more sun-soaked Wrigley Field workout Wednesday afternoon, before heading to the airport.
Suzuki (strained left ring finger) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, the Cubs announced.
Cubs manager David Ross didn’t reveal how many games the team expects Suzuki to need with the I-Cubs before returning from the 10-day IL, saying they’ll adjust based on daily feedback.
Suzuki has gone through two live batting practice sessions recently but hasn’t hit in a game for over a month. Ross said the swelling in Suzuki’s finger, which was a concern the last time he tried to build up his hitting to return, hasn’t come back.
“We’ve got a plan laid out,” Ross said of what the team will be monitoring. “Get some at-bats, his timing down. … Just getting back in playing shape I think is what’s important, trying to get his legs underneath him, run the bases, be able to react in the outfield.”
Until Suzuki returns, outfielders Rafael Ortega and Nelson Vel?zquez will likely continue to get a boost in playing time. Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward has been out of the lineup for the past four games, and the soreness in his right knee hasn’t improved, Ross said Wednesday.
“We’ll have to take a hard look at that here soon,” he added.