I feel like I’ve seen this story play out before, and I’m trying not to be overly negative. What has happened in the past with X Player Injury doesn’t actually have a bearing on what happens with a future player’s injury. The injury is the injury, and everyone is different.
But I guarantee I’m not alone in my my gut reacts when I see this:
It’s status quo for Seiya Suzuki (strained left ring finger).
Hoyer described it as nagging injury. #Cubs‘understanding from doctors is Suzuki doesn’t need surgery to fix issue. It comes down to rest.
Hoyer: “He really wants to play … but we’re trying to be careful about it.”
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 11, 2022
Suzuki, who didn’t even initially go on the Injured List and who has been taking batting practice trying to shake this thing off, isn’t getting any better. As a burned-before sports fan, you just wait for the dreaded news that, ope, actually, we discovered three weeks later that actually there’s damage in there that requires surgery.
I’m sure I’m just being dramatic. The Cubs are probably just being overly cautious about a guy whose transition to the states is critical for their success in 2023 and beyond. I’m just anxious because I want to see him out there, and working on those adjustments.
Sounds like we might be waiting a while, though.
Among the quotes that make that gut tighten back up (NBC):
David Ross: “It’s just going really slowly. He wants to be back in there bad. But the finger doesn’t look great. It’s really stayed almost status quo.”
Jed Hoyer: “It’s going to take a while, and candidly I’m OK with that. This year is really important for him to assimilate and face big-league pitching and figure out what he needs to do going forward in his career. And coming back and having this nagging injury and not being able to do it well doesn’t make a lot of sense. He needs to come back when he can really compete at this level, and it’s hard to do that when your finger is swelling up all the time.”
That sounds to me like we’re looking at a multi-week shutdown – no baseball activities – to really try to get the thing healed before he picks a bat back up. Keep in mind, he’s been trying to work through the swelling/pain this whole time, and clearly that was not allowing it to heal. So that sucks, because it feels like “lost” time. But sometimes you don’t know how bad something is until you’re doing the work, and/or until you wake up the next day. He’s on the IL and following a reasonable plan, so I’m not mad at the Cubs this time (like when they’ve had guys just sitting on the active roster and unable to play or, worse, playing through something that is OBVIOUSLY inhibiting performance).
Again, I do think Hoyer is right that letting Suzuki come back at 80% and try to work on the biggest challenge in his career – adjusting to MLB pitchers who have a good plan on him right now – would be a terrible idea. I’m just anxious. Yeah. It’s that. Well, and the dread.
And also knowing that the Cubs now have a perfect opportunity to bring up outfield prospect Nelson Velazquez for a multi-week run of starts, but they won’t do it because Jason Heyward absolutely positively has to get those at bats.