The Cubs have had one big scratch in each of their first two spring games, with Seiya Suzuki being sidelined by left oblique tightness and Justin Steele skipping Sunday’s start due to arm fatigue. The former is more worrisome because oblique issues can linger for a long time and this has the feeling of something a little more significant than just being extra cautious since it’s so early.
Suzuki had imaging done recently and the team is reviewing that Monday to determine the severity of the issue. David Ross told reporters he’s not willing to speculate on the right fielder’s ability to return to action or join Team Japan in the WBC, saying they’re in “wait and see” mode at this point. I don’t sense optimism radiating from those comments.
Steele’s setback, however, is absolutely a matter of precaution. He’s already thrown quite a bit in camp and says he’s stretched out to 2-3 innings, so he’ll throw a bullpen on Tuesday and be in line to take his next start. That’s very good news, though it would not be out of line to have a touch of concern just because of Steele’s injury history.
I’ll feel a lot better once he takes the bump and shoves for two quick frames.
For what it’s worth, Patrick Wisdom was scratched from the away portion of Monday’s split-squad games with left groin soreness.