Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

#Cubs Bryant to play more OF

Kris Bryant made his second start in left field on Sunday and manager Joe Maddon wants the Cubs top prospect to get more time there.

The Cubs are emphasizing versatility among their position players, and trying to get all Minor Leaguers to play at least two positions.

“You never know where the need will arise,” Maddon said Sunday. “All of a sudden, you could have a need here, and he hasn’t played there.”

Bryant has not played outfield since his junior year of college at the University of San Diego. The move is no reflection on his ability as a third baseman.

“I honestly believe it makes a younger hitter a better hitter,” Maddon said. “If he’s moving around a lot, and has to work with so many different defensive positions, he doesn’t worry so much about his hitting.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup vs Royals Sun 3/29

Kris Bryant gets his second start in the outfield on Sunday when the Cubs play the Royals in Surprise, Ariz. Edwin Jackson will start. The game will be broadcast on WGN TV and also WBBM Radio. Here’s the lineup:

La Stella 3B

Russell SS

Montero C

Bryant LF

Sweeney RF

Baez 2B

Baxter 1B

Jackson P

Alcantara CF

#Cubs Epstein on Bryant: “We haven’t made a decision yet”

Whether or not Kris Bryant will be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster has been a hot topic, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday that no decision has been made regarding the team’s top prospect.

What should be noted is that in his career, Epstein has never had a player make his Major League debut on Opening Day, other than a Rule 5 pick or a Japanese player. While most of the focus has been on Bryant’s call-up being linked to the start of the service time clock, Epstein said this is not a business decision.

“It’s for baseball reasons, and it hasn’t been about anything else besides baseball reasons,” Epstein said Friday. “We spend a lot of time thinking about which players to draft, how to get them off to a good start in their professional careers, how to help them advance in the Minor Leagues, and how to help them make that final leap to the big leagues and when and how to do it to put them in a position to succeed.”

Bryant has been the center of attention because of his Major League-leading nine home runs and .406 batting average, and because his agent, Scott Boras, has been outspoken about how the third baseman is being treated.

“It’s not about business,” Epstein said. “People are trying to make this about business. There are valid baseball reasons. The process of developing a player, taking them from amateur to Major League player and every step along the way, that’s a baseball process and those are baseball decisions, and that’s what we’re doing here.”

What Epstein is looking for is the right moment. Last year, the Cubs promoted Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to the big leagues, and both moves came when the team was on the road in hitter friendly ballparks.

“We haven’t made a decision yet,” Epstein said regarding Bryant. “We’re going to make a good baseball decision based on what we think is best for his development and what’s best for the team and the organization and other players affected. We haven’t made the decision yet.

“I look to things that have worked in the past for me as sort of a presumptive guideline for what to do in the future,” Epstein said. “I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I do think if you stack it up and look at some of the young players, it’s a pretty good track record. We haven’t made a decision. Whatever we decide on this one, it might be wrong, I’m not saying I’m right all the time, but it’s my professional judgement.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant to play OF on Thursday

Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant will get to play the outfield on Thursday.

Bryant has played third base and was the designated hitter while limited because of fatigue in his right shoulder in Cactus League games so far. He’s been doing outfield drills this week with bench coach Dave Martinez, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday the plan is to have him try left field.

“My biggest concern always with infielders going to the outfield and vice versa is arm — that you would hurt your arm because you would chose to use different arm stroke,” Maddon said.

Maddon’s advice? Don’t do anything differently throwing than Bryant already does as a third baseman.

Bryant has made a strong case for a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, leading the Major Leagues with nine home runs this spring.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant belts home run No. 9

Another day, another home run for Kris Bryant.

The Cubs top prospect belted his ninth spring home run in the third inning Tuesday against the Athletics, connecting on the first pitch from Drew Pomerantz, who had struck out Bryant in the first.

Bryant leads the Major Leagues this spring in homers. His Cubs teammates wouldn’t mind seeing that pop in the Opening Day lineup. However, the Cubs could have Bryant open the season at Triple-A Iowa to avoid starting the service time clock.

“There’s not much any of us can do anymore,” Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo said Tuesday. “It is what it is. He’s a great kid. That’s really all you can keep saying.”

Bryant did some outfield drills on Tuesday and will likely play there in the next couple days, manager Joe Maddon said.

“[We wanted to] get him back out there and reacquainted,” Maddon said. “He knows how to do it.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant to play outfield

The next test for Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant is to play outfield.

Bryant, who posted his third two-homer game this spring on Saturday, raising his spring total to eight home runs, did not start Sunday but will play on Tuesday. Where is to be determined. He did not play third base for more than one week because of fatigue in his right shoulder, and will likely start drills in the outfield on Tuesday. The Cubs have an off day Monday.

“Speaking to him, he was all for it,” manager Joe Maddon said of having Bryant play some outfield. “I think he understands the ability to play more than one position, how that benefits you in the future as a Major League baseball player. His tools play in both spots. He’s very confident with the glove, runs well, has a fine arm.”

Bryant did test his shoulder on Saturday with five throws to first base, and passed.

“He was not pushing the ball, the arm strength was where it was supposed to be,” Maddon said.

Bryant has had no problems at the plate. He leads the Major Leagues in home runs and RBIs this spring.

“It’s been impressive, it’s been very impressive,” Maddon said. “I give him a lot of credit because he’s coming in here with a lot of expectations, wanting to win a job, and he hasn’t blinked, man. He hasn’t blinked at all.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant to start Saturday

Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant, sidelined with fatigue in his right shoulder, was expected back on the field Saturday, starting at third base for the first time since March 12.

The injury hasn’t affected his hitting. Bryant belted his seventh spring homer on Thursday in a “B” game, although it doesn’t in the Cactus League stats. He does lead the Majors this spring with 30 total bases and is batting .435.

* Manager Joe Maddon said Friday that both Dexter Fowler and Chris Coghlan were nursing bruises after fouling balls off their legs, and were day to day, as is Matt Szczur, who rolled his left ankle in a collision with the wall. All were listed as day to day.

– Carrie Muskat

3/19 Bryant hits another homer

Kris Bryant tested his right shoulder by throwing on Thursday and manager Joe Maddon said the third baseman was “all smiles.” The shoulder definitely isn’t affecting his hitting.

Bryant hit his seventh spring homer in the third inning of a “B” game against the Angels at Sloan Park. The two-run shot, however, does not count in Cactus League statistics.

“He knows what he’s doing at the plate,” Maddon said of the Cubs top prospect.

Bryant, who has not played third base in one week because of fatigue in his shoulder, was the designated hitter in the “B” game. He was called out on strikes in the first inning with one out and a runner at third, homered in the third, and reached on a fielder’s choice in the fifth.

Bryant will be evaluated on Friday, and then the Cubs will decide when he can resume playing third base.

– Carrie Muskat

3/17 Bryant: If this was the season, he’d be playing

Kris Bryant did throw Tuesday to test his right shoulder and said if this were the regular season, he’d be playing through the discomfort. The Cubs are taking advantage of the fact it’s still Spring Training and giving their top prospect time off the field to rest.

“We’re just going to take it slow but it definitely felt better [Tuesday] than the last couple days,” said Bryant, who has not played third base since last Thursday.

He has been sidelined with fatigue in his right shoulder, which is similar to what a pitcher might go through.

“I think I’ll be out there pretty soon,” Bryant said. “We’ve made some good progress with it. I’m not worried about it.”

Manager Joe Maddon said Bryant could be in the field later this week.

“At the end of the day, there’s no reason to rush any of this,” Maddon said. “If it goes back to Friday, it’s not going to bum me out.”

The soreness is not unusual, Bryant said, and in the past, he’s usually played through it. He didn’t want to adjust his throwing motion to compensate for the discomfort.

“Changing the arm angle is not good for you, so I’m focusing on repeating the motion, just like a pitcher would,” he said. “If this was the season, I would definitely be playing through it.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/16 Kris Bryant update

Top prospect Kris Bryant was in the Cubs lineup Monday as the designated hitter and not at third base to give his right shoulder more time to heal. Bryant, who has not played third since last Thursday because of shoulder fatigue, was to throw from 90 feet on Monday.

“We’re taking it slow,” Bryant said Monday. “There’s no need to kill myself in Spring Training. I’d love to be back out on the field playing third base. We’re just taking it slow. It’s normal fatigue. I’m fine.”

The shoulder hasn’t affected his hitting. Bryant leads the Major Leagues with six home runs, belting two on Saturday. He did not play Sunday.

“It’ll be good for me to get up there and get some at-bats,” Bryant said. “I can always use those at-bats going into the season and [benefit facing] big league pitching.”

Manager Joe Maddon has mentioned that Bryant, who is 9-for-20 (.450) in eight games this spring, could play some outfield in Cactus League games.

“I’m a baseball player, so as long as I’m on the field playing, catching the ball, running down some fly balls, it’ll be fun,” said Bryant, who did play outfield in college.

However, because of Bryant’s tender shoulder, that plan may be delayed. Bryant did not have a timetable as to when the Cubs would put him in the outfield.

– Carrie Muskat

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