Suzuki, Hughes set to play for Triple A Iowa on Saturday

Outfielder Seiya Suzuki and left-handed pitcher Brandon Hughes will join the Iowa Cubs on Saturday in St. Paul. Minn., for rehab assignments, according to the team.

Both players developed injuries during spring training, Suzuki a left oblique strain and Hughes left knee inflammation. Manager David Ross said the plan is for Hughes to pitch in Saturday's game, Suzuki to play Saturday and Sunday, then reassess.

Ross said Suzuki worked on conditioning and fielding before moving forward with his hitting program. He suffered the injury before the exhibition schedule began in Arizona.

"We were trying to get the legs and the body underneath him and not let that be an issue as we got the at-bats starting," Ross said. "Now it's just about getting the consistent at-bats, making sure he feels good with his timing.

"Just talked earlier this morning with somebody who saw his at-bats in person live and said it looked like he could be ready soon."

The Cubs opened the season with no left-handers in the bullpen, so Hughes' return could be good news. The converted outfielder posted a 3.12 ERA in 57 appearances during his rookie season in 2022.

Ross accepts heat:

Cubs manager David Ross on dealing with criticism, and there was a decent amount during the team's 2-3 start to the season.

"I try to answer the questions you (reporters) get," Ross said Friday. "I don't get on the Twitter machine or anything like that. People check in on me when it goes awry on there and ask how I'm doing.

"I think part of my job is to answer the questions that you guys might have or the fans might have. Part of my job is to take criticism when I make those decisions and explain my answers the best I can without giving away any kind of competitive advantage."

Around the horn:

CF Pete Crow-Armstrong, the Cubs' top-rated prospect, made his Double A debut with Tennessee on Thursday, going 2-for-4 at the plate. RF Owen Caissie, LF Jordan Nwogu and 1B B.J. Murray are some others who got their first taste of Double A in that game. ...

Game-time temperature was 43 degrees Friday. According to Rangers PR, this is the coldest game they've played since April 25, 2021 when it was 43 on the South Side. ...

The Cubs announced a partnership with Mynd drinks, making them the first MLB team with a Cannabidiol (CBD) partnership. The deal includes signage around Wrigley Field, and on the actual field, but no word on if the drinks will be available for purchase at the ballpark.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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