The man known as “the pianist” has been absent from the big leagues for most of the past year, but the Chicago Cubs’ ace is finally set to return to action in 2017.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday that Dominic Smith Jr. will take the mound on Sunday for the first time since suffering a left knee injury in June.
Smith has been rehabbing since then, working with Dr. John Riedel of the University of Chicago’s Anderson Orthopedic Institute, who was also instrumental in Smith’s recovery.
“It is with great joy and excitement that I announce that Dominic Smith Jr will take part in his first game on Sunday, April 17, 2017 against the Cleveland Indians,” NBBW President Greg Mancini said in a statement.
“Dominic is doing well and I am optimistic he will be ready to return soon.”
Smith, a first-round pick by the Cubs in 2013, is the oldest player in NBBN history to start in a World Series.
He is the youngest player to make the postseason since Joe Mauer, who retired in 2001, in 2002.
Smith, 33, was a key part of the Cubs’ World Series championship team last season.
He batted .316 with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs for the Cubs, who advanced to the NLDS against the Kansas City Royals.
The Cubs have lost three consecutive games by a combined total of 17 runs, including two by an average of 11 runs.
They have lost 11 consecutive games, including three in a row by an extra-inning margin.