Chicago Cubs News: Seiya Suzuki injury, Justin Steele Scratched, and more

Feb 20, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki (27) takes fielding practice
Feb 20, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki (27) takes fielding practice / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs opened their Cactus League over the weekend as they split the first two games of their Spring Training schedule but the focus for the team was off the field as Seiya Suzuki was pulled from the starting lineup on Saturday due to a left oblique injury.

Suzuki did undergo MRI testing on Sunday and the team is expecting to share the result on Monday. While speaking with reporters including Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, Cubs manager David Ross did not want to speculate on Suzuki's status and what implication that may have for his participation in the World Baseball Classic with Team Japan.

"“It’s a wait and see,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “I don’t want to make any comments on the WBC or anything like that. We’ll see what happens and what information we get back. We’ll talk to the doctors and talk to the trainers and make some decisions as soon as possible.”"

David Ross via The Athletic

It certainly is not an ideal start for the Cubs and Suzuki. Suzuki was limited to 111 games during his rookie season with the team last season and a large part of the reason why he added 25 pounds of muscle this season was to ensure his body can withhold the strain of a 162-game Major League Baseball schedule.

Justin Steele scratched from Sunday's start against Los Angeles Dodgers

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele was scratched from his scheduled start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. The move appeared to have been made out of caution as Steele was experiencing some arm fatigue. Steele being unavailable for Sunday's game created the opportunity for Javier Assad to make his first case for being a part of the team's starting rotation. Assad pitched two perfect innings while striking out two batters.

Pete Crow-Armstrong shows off arm strength

The benefit to all of the Chicago Cubs' Spring Training games being televised this Spring allows fans an ample opportunity to watch the team's top prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong. In Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Crow-Armstrong showed off his arm strength while manning center field.