Chicago Cubs eyeing Trey Mancini to replace Seiya Suzuki at RF
The news on the Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki's front grows increasingly ominous as time goes on. The Cubs still seem to be somewhat vague to this point, but after the recent revelation that Suzuki had been diagnosed with a moderate left oblique strain, it has been reported by Patrick Mooney of The Athletic that the Chicago Cubs are looking to turn to Trey Mancini to fill the hole in right field.
Initially, Mancini was brought in to play at 1B/OF/DH, as he has throughout his career. His track record in right field is solid, amassing 100 games played at the position and a .990 FPCT. At the very least, the Cubs will be fine defensively without Suzuki for a while, but the offensive potency in the lineup will take a hit.
This more than likely means Brennen Davis won't be the potential candidate just yet to fill in for Suzuki. We don't know precisely how long he will be sidelined, but we can at least take away a couple of positives to find any optimism possible. For one, it's very early into spring training. Although it's hard to predict any timetable for an injury like this, we can look back at players that have suffered similar injuries and their plans to return. For one, Max Scherzer was diagnosed with a "moderate to high" oblique strain last season and was given a 6-8 week timetable. Tyler Glasnow also injured his oblique and has been given a 6-8 week timetable for a grade 2 (moderate) strain.
Can we assume the same 6-8 week projection for Suzuki to return? If so, that has him back ready for a rehab assignment around mid-April and hopefully back in a Cubs uniform by the beginning of May. It could be a lot worse. Missing the season's first month will be a significant blow, but it's at least better than missing him in September if the Cubs are competing.
As for Mancini, expect him to have more of an everyday role in the lineup for the Cubs this season. He has looked good in spring, going 3-5 to start with an RBI. In 2019, Mancini batted .291/.364/.535/132 wRC+ with 35 HR and 97 RBIs. If he can get back anywhere near that production this season, the hole will be smaller to fill while Suzuki is away.