Classmate Shohei “Batter” Ohtani (29-LA Angels) is batting .325, leading the team in home runs and second in RBIs. Yoshida Masataka (30-Boston Red Sox), a year his senior, has adjusted to his first year in the majors and is also hitting .300. The duo joined the team after leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) title and have continued their strong play.
Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki (29). He’s struggling in his second year in the majors. Lately, he’s lost the battle for the starting job. He’s been missing more and more games from the starting lineup.
He hasn’t been in the starting lineup for four games in a row, starting on April 6 against the Atlanta Braves. Three of those games were from the bench. He pinch-hit in the eighth inning against the New York Mets and struck out.
In 91 games before the Mets on Sept. 9, he batted .338 (84-for-94) with nine home runs, 37 RBIs and a .715 OPS. Expectations were high for his second year in the majors, but he took a step back.
Last season, he batted just .262 (104-for-397) with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs in 111 games. He was considered a smooth transition from his first year.
Suzuki returns for the first half of 2023 to harsh reviews. In an interview with Japan’s over-the-top (OTT) Abema TV, he said he would rate his second season a “zero.
He talked about the difficulty of hitting major league pitchers. He said that pitchers are aggressive with pitches that are slightly in and out of the strike zone. He explained that he is practicing hitting the ball one or two pitches wider than the strike zone.
Since joining the Hiroshima Carp in 2013, Suzuki has developed into one of the team’s leading hitters. In 2021, the year before he reached the major leagues, he batted .301 with 138 hits in 435 at-bats, 38 home runs and 88 RBIs. Starting in 2016, he hit triple digits for six straight years and hit 176 home runs.
He played in the 2017 WBC, the 2019 Premier12, and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
If he hadn’t chosen to pursue a major league career, other paths would have opened up. He could have signed a huge contract as a free agent and continued his career with recognition.
Suzuki says, “I didn’t want to go through the motions. If I stayed in Japan, I could have maintained my performance, but it wouldn’t have been fun,” Suzuki said.메이저사이트
Suzuki signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the Cubs before the 2022 season.
Suzuki started in the No. 6 spot in right field against the Mets on Tuesday. In his first start in five games, he had three hits, including a home run, and one RBI. He hit a triple to right field in the second inning, an RBI single to left in the fourth and a two-run homer in the ninth.