Cubs News: Seiya Suzuki sprains finger; Ildemaro Vargas says goodbye

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Before things went to hell in Thursday’s 20-5 loss to the Reds, Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki awkwardly slid into second base in the third inning and it immediately looked like he did something to his left wrist/hand.

That proved to be exactly the case. Although he finished the inning, David Ross removed Suzuki from the game, replacing him with Rafael Ortega – and now we know why. The Chicago outfielder has a sprained finger on his left hand, although we don’t yet know whether or not it’ll require an IL stint given Friday’s off-day before the team starts a weekend tilt against the White Sox.

It’s an unfortunate break for Suzuki, who continues to make tweaks to counter the adjustments the league made to him following his scorching start to the year that netted him NL Rookie of the Month honors in April. Despite his struggles, Suzuki still ranks third on the team in OPS, trailing only Willson Contreras and Ian Happ.

One can only hope he starts to string some multi-hit games together again upon his return, whenever that may be. His last such effort came all the way back on April 27 – and he has just two multi-hit contests since April 18. Should he miss time, it seems safe to say Christopher Morel will continue to get regular reps – hardly a bad thing given his early performance.

Cubs: Ildemargo Vargas refuses outright assignment, elects free agency

Veteran utilityman Ildemaro Vargas was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa this week, but given he’d been outrighted before, he had the right to refuse such an assignment and instead head to free agency. That’s the course the 30-year-old has elected to take, ending his brief stint with the Cubs.

He brought defensive versatility, sure, but Vargas was dead weight at the dish, slashing just .130/.231/.348 in 26 plate appearances this year with Chicago. With Nico Hoerner and Andrelton Simmons already back from injury and Nick Madrigal likely to return in a couple weeks, it was definitely getting tougher to find reps for Vargas.

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I suspect he’ll get picked up by another organization on a minor league deal. But given the Cubs’ roster makeup, it’s not a devastating loss by any stretch.