Cubs shut down BP for Seiya Suzuki; rest prescribed after injury progress stalls

Suzuki has been on the 10-day injured list for more than two weeks with a sprained left ring finger.

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Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki has been sidelined for over two weeks with a lingering finger injury.

Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki has been sidelined for over two weeks with a lingering finger injury.

Paul Beaty/AP

NEW YORK — Day after day of pregame hitting, hoping for a good-enough reaction for Seiya Suzuki to return from the 10-day injured list, returned the same result. His sprained left ring finger continued to swell. 

So in a meeting Saturday that included president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer, the club and player decided a break from hitting was the best move. Manager David Ross announced Sunday that the Cubs planned to rest Suzuki for about five days, “per doctor’s orders,” before having him ramp back up.

“They were listening to my opinion about how we wanted to move forward,” Suzuki said after the Cubs’ 18-4 loss to the Yankees, “and they also had their take on it, and so we just basically took the middle ground.”

Suzuki has been sidelined since hurting his finger on a base in Cincinnati on May 26 while stealing second. 

“He really wants to play, and we tried to take that into consideration, and he’s tried to work out, push it a little bit, and it just still is lingering a little bit,” Ross said. “He’s probably 85, 90%. And I think we all came to conclude it’s just not smart to have a setback with what we’re trying to do.”

Last week, Ross was optimistic that Suzuki might be able to play against the Yankees. But he said Sunday that Suzuki still had “a pretty good amount of swelling” in his finger. 

Suzuki said the post-batting-practice swelling had at least improved this series. 

Suzuki saw another doctor in New York, one of multiple opinions the Cubs have sought. 

“I do understand it’s quite frustrating when it’s a finger issue,” Hoyer said. “You feel like, it’s just a finger. But it matters.”

The Cubs don’t have a definitive timetable for Suzuki’s return. When asked if he’d need to go on a rehab assignment, Ross was noncommittal. 

“We’ve got some stuff that we’ll be able to do to keep him sharp,” he said. “We’ll talk through that with him when he feels like he’s 100%.”

Suzuki said he’d have to speak with Ross and Hoyer before they made that decision.

“Obviously with all this time off and all these at-bats that I haven’t been able to take at this level,” he said, “I feel like that could be necessary, some rehab at-bats in order to start playing here again.”

Streak broken

The Cubs had a dubious 0-for-48 streak going with runners in scoring position when Ian Happ’s single in the seventh inning ended it. 

Happ fell a double short of hitting for the cycle, also drawing a walk. He was on deck for the last out. 

Newcomb activated

The Cubs activated reliever Sean Newcomb off the 15-day injured list (sprained left ankle), reinforcing the bullpen. In a corresponding move, they optioned right-hander Michael Rucker to Triple-A Iowa. 

Rucker threw three innings in relief in the Cubs’ 8-0 loss Saturday, allowing two runs and four hits and striking out three. 

Madrigal day-to-day

Second baseman Nick Madrigal remains day-to-day with groin tightness after leaving the Cubs’ loss Friday in the 12th inning. Ross said he was available off the bench Sunday. 

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