The Cubs have been mum on exactly how long they expect to be without right fielder Seiya Suzuki, but conventional wisdom says he’ll be shelved for at least four weeks and maybe as many as eight. That would eliminate him from spring training and likely a chunk of the regular season as he ramps back up, so David Ross will have to go with a replacement or three to take up those lost innings. We had figured previously that a veteran would have an inside track, and that appears to be the case.
According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs are looking at Trey Mancini as a primary option. Though he has logged less time in right than left, with almost all of that experience coming in 2019, the club values his presence in the lineup and would prefer not to call up a younger player just to send them back down once Suzuki returns.
That means Brennen Davis probably isn’t going to break camp with the big club even if he continues to perform well. He has barely spent any time at Triple-A and really needs to stay healthy so he can stockpile plate appearances this year. Nelson Velázquez has looked good as well so far, but he’s probably in a similar boat when it comes to the near future.
It is possible, however, that Mancini playing right field will open the door for another prospect to come up. Because Mancini was initially slated to spend a bulk of his time at DH and first base, flexing him out to right might spur the Cubs to add Matt Mervis to the 40-man roster. The slugger has shown a great deal of patience this season, impressing Ross and Mancini in particular with his thoughtful approach to hitting.
A lot of things can change between now and the end of the month, of course, so this will be a moving target throughout the remainder of the spring.