Seiya Suzuki is finally ready to test his injured finger that has sidelined him for a month.
Iowa, the Triple-A franchise of the Chicago Cubs, is in the middle of a six-game series with the Clippers that lasts until Sunday.
Suzuki, one of the organization’s biggest pickups before the season, will likely be in the lineup as early as Thursday.
The outfielder has been nursing a left ring finger sprain and has been on the injured list since May 30. It interrupted a strong start to the season for Suzuki who was hitting .245 (34-for-139) with 12 doubles, one triple and four home runs in 41 games with Chicago.
Suzuki was named the National League’s Rookie of the Month for April. But his season hit an abrupt roadblock when he injured his finger sliding into second base during a series against the Cincinnati Reds in May.
It’s a big addition to Iowa’s roster, even if it is temporary. Suzuki was a five-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star and five-time Central League Gold Glove Award winner before signing a five-year deal with the Cubs in March worth reportedly $85 million.
His patience and production at the plate made him a valuable hitter for Chicago during his short time in the big-leagues. The Cubs have sorely missed him since he landed on the injured list.
The good news for the Cubs: He’s inching closer to a return by joining Iowa on a rehab assignment. Iowa plays Columbus on Thursday at 6:38 p.m.
Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at email@example.com or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki joining Iowa Cubs for rehab assignment