Seiya Suzuki returns to Cubs after oblique injury
Seiya Suzuki is making his long-awaited return to the Cubs.
The team announced Friday afternoon that the right fielder is back after missing most of the last two months with a left oblique strain.
Suzuki was activated from the IL ahead of the Cubs’ series in Los Angeles. Miles Mastrobuoni was sent down to Triple-A Iowa as corresponding moves.
Just before the Cubs’ spring opener at Sloan Park in Arizona, Suzuki was scratched after feeling tightness in his oblique. He ultimately pulled out of the World Baseball Classic (where he was supposed to play with Team Japan).
The Cubs had him taking swings and working out at the team’s facility in Arizona before Spring Training ended and he went on a rehab assignment last weekend, playing in 4 games with Triple-A Iowa.
Suzuki, 28, was the Cubs’ big signing prior to the 2022 season. He battled injuries and endured some ups and downs as he got acclimated to life in American baseball but he still put up a solid season — .262/.336/.433 batting line (.770 OPS) with 14 homers, 46 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 111 games.
His return will give the Cubs a huge boost on both sides of the ball. In his absence, the Cubs have been piecing together right field with Mastrobuoni, Patrick Wisdom, Trey Mancini and Nelson Velázquez rotating out there.
Suzuki will also lengthen the Cubs lineup as he’s expected to spend a good amount of time in the cleanup spot behind Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ.