Cubs' Suzuki heads to Iowa to begin rehab assignment originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Seiya Suzuki will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, the next step in his recovery from a sprained left ring finger.
“He’ll get some at-bats, get his timing down, see the live pitching,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Did a little bit of that [Tuesday], which was nice. Felt good.
“Just get him back in playing shape, I think is what's important. Try to get his legs underneath him, run the bases, be able to react in the outfield, just like everybody else.”
Suzuki has been on the IL for the last month and has not played since May 26, when he sprained his finger on an awkward slide into second base vs. the Reds.
He took live batting practice at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, and the swelling in his finger has not come back as he's ramped up baseball activities of late.
“I know there's been no issues with anything he's done so far,” Ross said.
As for how many games Suzuki might play with Iowa, Ross said the Cubs will lean on the feedback they get from him, and the Iowa coaching and training staffs.
“Being on your feet and getting back in play in shape is different for everybody,” Ross said. “We've got a plan. Sometimes we have to extend those plans, and sometimes we can shorten them.”
Suzuki signed a five-year deal with the Cubs over the offseason after an extended successful pro career in Japan.
He won National League Rookie of the Month in April and is hitting .245/.344/.432 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 41 games this season.
The Cubs are looking forward to getting him back in the lineup as he continues his transition to the major leagues.
“I'm really looking forward to getting him back. We've missed him,” Ross said. “I think he's a big part, obviously, of what we're doing here moving forward.
“The more experience he can gain is going to be for the better — better for us and him — and speed things up for where we want to go.”