Good news surfaced on Wednesday regarding the health of big offseason acquisition Seiya Suzuki. After missing roughly a month with a finger sprain, the outfielder is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday.
Suzuki’s health is a critical part of his development this season. Although 27 years old, Suzuki is acclimating to the United States. It is a massive transition to come from Japan and succeed right away. The 2022 campaign is a transition period for Suzuki to settle in over the course of his five-year deal.
In addition to Suzuki’s health, it appears a pair of pitchers currently on the IL are getting closer to returning.
Both Marcus Stroman and Drew Smyly are scheduled to throw bullpens in the coming days. Although previous reports indicate that Stroman will likely return before Smyly, it is still encouraging that they’re both throwing off a mound. Ideally, both players can return in the coming weeks and provide stability in the rotation.
Smyly is only on a one-year deal, making him a prime candidate to be traded at the deadline this season. Although he has been hurt, he sports a 3.80 ERA in nine starts. The 33-year-old will bring back something that the Cubs can use for the future.
On the contrary, Stroman is signed for at minimum next season with a player option for year three of his deal. There has been speculation he’ll be moved at this season’s deadline, but Stroman brings a lot of value. Moving him in just the first year of his deal not only looks bad to future free agents, but also sets the Cubs back further on their competitive timeline. Although the season numbers don’t show it, Stroman has been really good lately for the Cubs. On a five-start stretch before the St. Louis start, Stroman sported a 1.80 ERA in those five games.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Cubs are back in action on Wednesday night for their second game against the Cincinnati Reds. First pitch from Wrigley Field is set for 7:05 p.m. CDT. Wednesday’s pitching matchup features Hunter Greene for the Reds and Justin Steele for the Cubs.
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