Skip to main content

Cubs Giving Starting Right Fielder Work At Different Position

The Chicago Cubs are shifting some things around this spring as a precautionary measure to increase versatility.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

For those who saw that the Chicago Cubs moved starting right fielder Seiya Suzuki to left for the Spring Training game on March 12 and panicked a bit, there is a reason for the switch.

As of now, this doesn't seem to be anything permanent.

It might not even be something that is done during the regular season.

But, Cubs' new manager Craig Counsell is using this exhibition period to give players different experiences on the field because it's never known when a situation where they're called to action might arise.

More specifically in this case, the hamstring injury to Ian Happ that has him sidelined for now, could become a recurring issue throughout 2024.

If that occurs, Counsell wants to make sure Suzuki has some experience in left field so he's comfortable in a new position barring unforeseen circumstances.

The manager reportedly talked to the star Japanese outfielder and asked if he wanted to get some reps during Spring Training in case he had to be used there according to Meghan Montemurro of The Chicago Tribune.

Chicago wants to have positional versatility across the board.

Not just for utility players who will slide across multiple positions, but having everyone ready to step into another role if called upon.

"One of the things you get in spring training is you try to prepare for every possible scenario that a guy is going to play nine innings or 12 innings in a position, like, you don't always get to do that," Counsell told Montemurro.

So, don't expect Suzuki to be playing multiple games in left field this year.

When Happ eventually returns, he's going to take over that spot once again.

If he gets hurt, the Cubs have some provisions in place that won't move the Japanese star out of right unless they're in dire straits.

Spring Training is a time for clubs to experiment with different things and get ready for the upcoming season as best as possible.

That's what Counsell is doing in these exhibition games.