In a move that snuck under the radar and appears to have been unreported by anyone other than Bleacher Nation, the Cubs moved Seiya Suzuki from the paternity list to the restricted list on Wednesday. MLB allows for a player to take up to three days away for the birth of a child, after which they must return to the active roster. If the player needs or wants to remain away for longer, the team either has to play a man down or place the player on the restricted list.
Knowing the Cubs, I’m surprised they didn’t just wait for another week or so before doing this with Suzuki. Or maybe that just applies to the IL.
Speaking of which, his health was in question after being hit by a Mychal Givens fastball when the Cubs were in New York. Subsequent x-rays were negative, not that such imaging is necessarily conclusive, and Suzuki was not expected to need time on the IL. Even if the situation with his hand/wrist was such that he’d need some extra time, the Cubs couldn’t use the restricted list as sort of a mini-IL.
The more likely situation is that three days simply wasn’t enough time to travel to and from Japan while also being with his wife and newborn. That’s hardly enough time even with less taxing travel circumstances and a perfectly normal delivery. Not that we are aware of any complications with the baby, mind you, just making the case for not rushing back.
Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley went on the restricted list earlier following the birth of his first child, hence the Cubs not having to face him during their five-game series back in late August.
Regardless of the season the Cubs are having, family is more important and it’s good that Suzuki is able to spend time with his. My hope is that mother and baby are happy and healthy, and that the right fielder is able to get back to Chicago to finish out an up-and-down season on a high note.
Suzuki had been hitting really well this month, putting up a .304 average with an .882 OPS as he got more comfortable with the MLB schedule. He may be even more at ease mentally once he returns, so here’s to hoping he can finish strong.