NEW YORK – Day after day of pregame hitting, hoping for a good enough reaction for Seiya Suzuki to return from the 10-day injured list, returned the same result. His sprained left ring finger continued to swell.
So, on Saturday, in a meeting in New York that included president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer, the club decided a break from hitting was the best move going forward. Manager David Ross announced on Sunday that the Cubs planned to rest Suzuki for about five days, “per doctor’s orders,” before having him ramp back up.
Suzuki has been sidelined since hurting his finger on a base in Cincinnati on May 26 while stealing second.
“He really wants to play, and we tried to take that in consideration, and he’s tried to work out, push it a little bit, and it just still is lingering a little bit,” Ross said. “He’s probably 85, 90 percent. And I think we all came to conclude it’s just not smart to have a setback with what we’re trying to do.”
Last week, Ross was optimistic that Suzuki might be able to play against the Yankees. But he said Sunday that Suzuki still had “a pretty good amount of swelling” in his finger. Suzuki saw another doctor in New York, one of multiple opinions the Cubs have sought.
“I do understand it’s quite frustrating when it’s a finger issue,” Hoyer said. “You feel like, it’s just a finger. But it matters.”
The Cubs don’t have a definitive timetable for Suzuki’s return. When asked if he’d need to go on a rehab assignment, Ross was noncommittal.
“We’ve got some stuff that we’ll be able to do to keep him sharp,” he added. “We’ll talk through that with him when he feels like he’s 100 percent.”
The Cubs activated reliever Sean Newcomb off the 15-day IL (left ankle sprain) on Sunday, reinforcing the bullpen. In a corresponding move, they optioned right-hander Michael Rucker to Triple-A.
Rucker threw three innings of relief in the Cubs’ 8-0 blowout loss Saturday, allowing two runs on four hits and recording three strikeouts.
Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal remains day-to-day with groin tightness, after leaving the Cubs’ extra-innings loss Friday in the 12th inning. Ross said he’s be available off the bench Sunday.