Seiya Suzuki and Brandon Hughes Heading to Triple-A Iowa for a Rehab Assignment!
Woo hoo! A couple injured Cubs are another step closer to returning to the big league team.
Each of Seiya Suzuki and Brandon Hughes will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow with the Iowa Cubs:
Hughes was slowed in his spring training ramp-up because of an ongoing knee issue, and he never quite looked right. The Cubs got him some treatment, he took some time off, and he’s been ramping back up since then.
I tend to think the Cubs won’t be rushing Hughes’ return to the big league bullpen, both because they will want to make sure he’s 100% good to go – as the only lefty in the current mix, he’s pretty darn important this year – and because the Cubs currently have a full eight-man bullpen that I’m not sure they ready to disrupt just yet. So, you let Hughes throw a few times with Iowa, and you see if something shakes out in the meantime at the big league level (someone struggles badly, someone tweaks something, etc.).
As for Suzuki, you know how much the Cubs need him, and as quickly as possible. The starting right fielder missed all of Spring Training with a moderate oblique strain, so the question on his return is really just one of readiness to face big league pitching. Position players don’t NEED a whole month of spring training games to be ready, but the volume of at bats they do need probably varies a bit from guy to guy. It’s plausible Suzuki will play just one or two games with Iowa and be ready to return; it’s possible it could be longer.