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Cubs continuing to play it safe with Seiya Suzuki’s neck

12 months agoAndy Martinez

MILWAUKEE — David Ross and the Cubs know Seiya Suzuki’s importance to their roster.

When the Japanese outfielder was signed to a contract last offseason, the hope was that he would be a middle-of-the-order bat. So, the Cubs want to make sure they have the best version of the 28-year-old. That’s why they’re not taking any risks when it comes to Suzuki.

The right fielder was out of the Cubs’ lineup on Monday against the Brewers as he continues to nurse a “stiff neck” that first kept him out of the lineup on June 28. With the night game on Sunday due to the rain delay, the travel to Milwaukee and a day game on Monday, Ross felt it was best to give him some additional rest.

In his place, Mike Tauchman played in right field and lead off and Cody Bellinger manned center field with Jared Young at first. Suzuki entered the game in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement on a double switch, taking Michael Fulmer’s spot in the lineup and playing right field. He struck out in the 8th inning, his lone at-bat of the game. 

Suzuki has been struggling at the plate of late. Since the team played in London, Suzuki is 0-for-21 with 2 walks, an RBI, a hit by pitch and 7 strikeouts. Ross believes those struggles stem from the quirkiness that came about with the London Series. The Cubs were off for two days before the two-game set in the UK, then played two games and had an off day before returning to play the Phillies at Wrigley Field.

“Try to get him just going and dealing with the neck issues,” Ross said. “I’m sure it’s hard for him to train and all that stuff.”

After starting the season on the IL, Suzuki had a .872 OPS, 19 RBI and 6 home runs through May. His ability to hit and hit for power would provide a much-needed boon to a Cubs’ offense that came into Monday’s game ranked 18th in slugging.

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