A preseason co-favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year, Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki remained one of the top contenders for that award until a finger injury halted his progress on May 26. He was placed on the injured list soon after and is still working his way back to full health. So when will he return to the Cubs’ lineup? Here is the latest.
Seiya Suzuki injury update
Suzuki sprained his left ring finger on an awkward slide into second base against the Reds last month. The Cubs initially thought he would not require an IL stint, but their minds changed a few days later as the Japanese star was officially shut down. His recovery has been slow, but with his rehab being moved to the Cubs’ complex in Arizona, it’s possible that he could be cleared to begin a minor league assignment sometime next week. For now, a return in the first half of July seems like a safe bet. Suzuki, whom the Cubs signed to a five-year, $85 million pact prior to the season, has put together a .245/.344/.432 slash line with four homers, 21 RBIs and three steals in 41 games this season.
Jason Heyward, with his .552 OPS and one home run in 133 plate appearances, has received the bulk of the starts in right field in place of Suzuki. The former top prospect is now 32 years old and clearly reaching the end of his MLB career.