Cubs injury notes: Seiya Suzuki, Marcus Stroman and Patrick Wisdom
The Cubs got a dose of good news Thursday on the injury front.
Marcus Stroman threw a bullpen Thursday afternoon as he recovers from a blister injury that impacted him during his last start Sunday in London.
If all is good coming out of that bullpen, Stroman will start Saturday against the Guardians while Justin Steele will take the ball Friday and Jameson Taillon pitches the series finale Sunday.
Stroman has been the Cubs’ unquestioned ace this season with a 9-5 record, 2.47 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He should be in the conversation to start the All-Star Game for the National League squad in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Cubs sent Patrick Wisdom (wrist) out on a rehab assignment while Seiya Suzuki (stiff neck) was not in the lineup for Thursday’s finale against the Phillies at Wrigley Field.
Suzuki woke up Wednesday morning with a stiff neck and was held out of the lineup. Christopher Morel took his place in right field.
On Thursday, it was Mike Tauchman moving from center field to right while Cody Bellinger traded his first baseman’s mitt in for an outfield glove to play center and Morel was slotted in as the DH.
Suzuki reported some improvement in his neck Thursday and took some swings in the batting cage.
“A little bit better,” David Ross said. “I know he’s definitely feeling it still. But words out of his mouth are ‘better today.'”
Wisdom has been on the shelf since June 17 with a right wrist sprain. He was in the Triple-A Iowa lineup Thursday night and promptly hit a homer in his first at-bat:
Patrick Wisdom homers in his first at-bat of MLB rehab with the @IowaCubs.— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen2) June 30, 2023
2-R blast off of fellow MLB rehabber Ryan Yarbrough.
421 feet, 104.1 mph off the bat.
Welcome back, Patrick.
Wisdom leads the Cubs in homers (14) and is 5th in RBI (28), though he had been in a funk prior to hitting the IL — .129 AVG, .440 OPS, 47.4% strikeout rate in 23 games dating back to May 12.
In Wisdom’s absence, Nick Madrigal has seen an increase in playing time at third base and excelled with a .356 AVG and .453 OBP since being recalled from Iowa on June 9.