Chicago Cubs Star Pulls Out Of WBC With Injury

Team Japan has lost a big part of its squad for the World Baseball Classic. Doctors reviewed imaging of Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki's oblique injury, and the team made the call to pull him from the tournament. 

It's been diagnosed as a moderate left oblique strain. "I mean, obviously, when you have something like that pop up, you're concerned, right?" said manager David Ross. Obliques are tough injuries to gauge, and can sometimes take longer than expected to heal. 

Suzuki was very upset about having to let his country down, and called it "very unfortunate."

Suzuki's continued absence from the Cubs lineup in Cactus League games would leave right field open for the likes of Trey Mancini, Mike Tauchman and even Patrick Wisdom.

The timing for Suzuki is unfortunate. The Cubs are hoping for a big breakout season from their Japanese import, and he's apparently had some jaw-dropping batting practice sessions at the beginning of camp, according to Cubs reporter Jordan Bastian. 

"He looked really good," Ross said. "He worked his tail off to take care of his body. Sometimes things happen."

Suzuki started his major league debut season last year like a house on fire, batting .333 with a 1.090 OPS through the season's first 18 games, with four home runs and 14 RBIs. He eventually settled for an injury-plagued year that finished at .262 with a .770 OPS, 14 HR, 46 RBIs. 

Photo: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports