The Chicago Cubs waited as long as they could for Seiya Suzuki to recover from his sprained left ring finger.
However, Suzuki did not check out great after Monday morning’s pregame work, and the Cubs opted to put him on the 10-day injured list. The move, made between games in Monday’s doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, is retroactive to Friday.
The Cubs also selected the contract of left-hander Brandon Hughes from Triple-A Iowa and designated right-hander Robert Gsellman for assignment.
After the Cubs’ 7-6 loss in the first game at Wrigley Field, Suzuki had a throwing progression in the outfield, building up to about 250 feet. But he didn’t catch the return throws, instead having the baseball tossed back to interpreter Toy Matsushita, who then handed it to Suzuki.
Manager David Ross was initially optimistic Suzuki would avoid the IL, noting Monday: “I try to stay that way. It’s better for my health.”
Suzuki, though, couldn’t get through baseball activities without feeling something with his finger. He tried to hit off a machine, Ross said, but the vibration from making contact when he didn’t get the ball on the barrel was painful. His finger his remains swollen too.
“He was pretty adamant about give it another day, give it another day,” Ross said. “So just get that thing calmed down.”
Suzuki sustained the injury during an awkward slide into second base on a successful steal during the third inning Thursday in Cincinnati. He remained in the game but exited the next inning. Suzuki, 28, is hitting .245 in 45 games with a .344 on-base percentage and 119 OPS+.
Injuries and limited 40-man roster options are creating complications for the Cubs. After two IL moves Monday, the Cubs have 15 players on the IL. That includes veteran infielder Jonathan Villar, who suffered an unfortunate accident in the weight room that forced him to the IL.
The exercise band Villar was using snapped back into his mouth, causing a freak injury that will require significant dental work. The Cubs placed him on the 10-day IL Monday morning retroactive to Friday.