Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

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

3/14 Cubs 3, Athletics 1

Kris Bryant shrugged off a sore shoulder to treat his hometown fans to two home runs while Kyle Hendricks was perfect over five innings for the Cubs.

Scratched from the starting lineup, Bryant belted a pinch-hit two-run homer with two outs in the third inning off the first pitch he saw and then cranked a leadoff shot in the sixth to lead the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Athletics.

The Cubs’ top prospect, Bryant did not start as a precautionary measure because of right shoulder fatigue. He took over as the designated hitter in the third inning, subbing for Anthony Rizzo, and crushed an opposite field home run off the first pitch from Oakland starter Jesse Hahn.

“Just tip my cap to Bryant on that one,” Hahn said. “He came off the bench cold, hadn’t taken a swing all game, and I thought I located a good fastball down and away, and he just went out there and got it.”

“I was running around the bases smiling and having a good time,” said Bryant, who was 0-for-4 Friday in the Cubs first game at Cashman Field.

Bryant then launched a 2-2 pitch from Evan Scribner over the left-center field wall leading off the sixth. He now leads the Major Leagues with six spring home runs.

His first homer accounted for the only runs off Hahn, who struck out three in 3 1/3 innings in his second spring start.

Hendricks, making his first spring start, retired all 15 batters faced, throwing 54 pitches, 40 for strikes in an efficient outing. The right-hander, projected as the Cubs fourth starter, struck out three over five innings. He was only scheduled to go three innings but because of his low pitch count, he could go deeper in the game.

Hendricks, Joseph Ortiz and Jorge De Leon did not allow a hit or a walk over seven innings, and Matt Olson ended the perfect game with a leadoff double in the eighth off Armando Rivero. Tyler Landendorf singled and Olson scored on Max Muncy’s sacrifice fly.

Hendricks was just as amazed as the 10,375 fans at Cashman Field who watched Bryant continue his home run show.

“I’d rather hit two home runs any day than pitch five perfect, I know that,” Hendricks said. “I’ll take what I did.”

* Up next: Travis Wood, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, will make his third spring start on Sunday when the Cubs play host to the Reds at Sloan Park in Mesa. So far, Wood has given up two earned runs on seven hits over five innings, and all of those hits and runs came against the Indians March 10. The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto. The game will be broadcast on WGN TV and also WBBM radio. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. MT/3:05 p.m. CT.

– Carrie Muskat

3/14 Bryant scratched, then homers twice

Kris Bryant was scratched from starting on Saturday because of right shoulder fatigue but he showed he can hit just fine. Bryant did pinch-hit in the third inning and delivered a two-run opposite field home run, then smacked a solo shot leading off the sixth. Bryant was scheduled to start at third base in the Cubs exhibition game in his hometown. However, his shoulder has been sore from all the drills. He took over as the DH for Anthony Rizzo and belted the first pitch he saw from the A’s Jesse Hahn to right. He now has six home runs this spring.

Here’s the Cubs lineup in Las Vegas vs. the A’s:

Fowler CF
Rizzo DH
Soler RF
Baez SS
Lake LF
La Stella 3B
Valaika 1B
Teagarden C
Herrera 2B

Hendricks P

3/13 Welcome home

Kris Bryant was able to spend time with his grandparents, his cat Wrigley, and relive some very good childhood memories Friday as he returned home.

“When I came here growing up, it seemed so larger than life,” Bryant said of Cashman Field, where the Cubs played split squad games against the Athletics Friday and Saturday.

“Everybody on the field looked like it was such a reach for me to be there, and now I’m in that position, playing on this field, on a field where I got a chance to watch players play on,” Bryant said. “It’s a surreal feeling for me. I know it’s only a Triple-A field but it still has a special place in my heart, trying to get foul balls down the line.”

Bryant and his family would buy tickets for what he called the “cheap seats” at Cashman along the right field line. He’d chase after foul balls, but didn’t try to collect autographs.

“I just wanted to come watch the game,” Bryant said. “One time I got a seat right behind home plate, and that’s a game I remember, because I got to see the pitching up close and the velocity and the break, and I was like, ‘I want to be there someday’ and I’m standing here right now.”

The next step for Bryant is to get to the big leagues. The Cubs’ top prospect entered Friday’s game 7-for-14 with four home runs, including two Thursday against the Angels.

“I’ve always said it’s been a dream of mine to play in the big leagues and I’ll do anything I can on my part to help make that decision hard for [the front office],” Bryant said. “Right now, I’m here to have fun, work on some things in the field.”

The Las Vegas media wanted to know if Bryant had any indication of whether he’d be on the Cubs Opening Day roster.

“No clue, no clue at all, and that’s just the way I want it,” Bryant said. “I’ve always told everybody I don’t want any distractions. It’s a big distraction for me and takes away from my play on the field.”

“It’s been pretty impressive,” manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant’s performance so far. “I watch him in practice, and the practice is impressive also. I’ve said it before: I know he knows he’s good. But he does it in the right way. He’s kind of humble about it.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/13 Cubs lineups

Sorry for the late post. Drove from Phoenix to Las Vegas, and just arrived. The Cubs play split squad games on Friday. Here’s the lineup vs. the Indians in Mesa:

Denorfia DH
Szczur CF
Alcantara 2B
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Coghlan LF
Ross C
Sweeney RF
Baxter 1B

Wada P

And here’s the lineup vs. the Athletics in Las Vegas at Cashman Field:

Fowler CF
Rizzo 1B
Soler RF
Montero C
Baez 2B
Bryant DH
Lake LF
La Stella 3B
Russell SS

Arrieta P

* Kris Bryant belted two home runs on Thursday against the Angels. Manager Joe Maddon likes what he’s seen of the young third baseman.

“It’s been pretty impressive,” Maddon said Friday in Mesa. “A lot of times early in camp, the pitchers are maybe not using all of their pitches. They’re just getting fastballs over, whatever. But this guy has done it before. I watch him in practice, and the practice is impressive also. I’ve said it before, I know he knows he’s good. But he does it in the right way. He’s kind of humble about it.”

But the question Cubs fans want to know is will Bryant be on the Opening Day roster?

“Again you have to see him cope with a Major League season, because it totally turns different,” Maddon said. “The moment the first pitch is thrown, everything changes. People may not understand it, but it’s true — the difference between a regular season and a Spring Training is incredibly different. But, again, this guy’s different. He’s good. He’s going to be really good.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/12 Bryant blasts 3rd HR

Will Ferrell replaced Mike Trout in center field for the Angels in the third inning, but the Cubs’ Kris Bryant hit a ball too far for anyone to get. Mike Olt walked to open the Chicago third against Matt Lindstrom and Bryant then launched a towering home run to left center, well out of reach of Ferrell. Bryant, who led the Minor Leagues with 43 home runs, now has three blasts this spring, all coming on the road.

Ferrell did show his glovework when he cleanly fielded Welington Castillo’s single to center one out later.

3/12 Ferrell at first

Kris Bryant was a little worried about making a good throw to first. After all, Will Ferrell will be receiving the throw. Ferrell was to play first base for the Cubs in the fourth or fifth inning, depending on his arrival at Tempe Diablo Stadium Thursday for their game against the Angels.

As part of a new HBO special from Funny Or Die, Ferrell will be at five different Spring Training ballparks in Arizona. He’s doing so to honor the historic feat of Bert Campaneris five decades ago by playing every position on the field for 10 different teams in the same day.

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester won’t be there and was a little miffed. He posted on Twitter: “Bummed to miss the #FerrellTakesTheField fun today but love the cause! Remember, it’s hot out there, milk would be a bad choice! @NVRQT

Mike Olt will start at first for the Cubs and then hand over his glove to Ferrell. Did Olt have any tips?

“He’s asking the wrong guy,” said Olt, who normally plays third for the Cubs. “I don’t know how to play first base either. He might do just as well. Just have fun with it. That’s all that matters.”

Asked if he was worried that Ferrell might take his roster spot, Olt smiled.

“I talked to [Anthony] Rizzo about it, and he and I are both a little nervous,” Olt deadpanned.

Bryant was starting at third base. It’ll be up to him to make a good throw.

“It’s exciting — it’s kind of scary, too,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, he knows how to catch the ball. I’m sure he does. He’s a big target. That might help us out throwing to first.”

Any advice?

“Block the ball, keep it in front,” Bryant said. “I don’t think he’ll do as good a job as Rizzo over there. I think if we give him a good throw, he’ll handle it.”

Ferrell’s goal is to honor “Campy” Campaneris while also helping organizations dedicated to fighting cancer, including Cancer for College. On Sept. 8, 1965, Campaneris, in only his second Major League season, went 0-for-3 playing all nine positions for the Kansas City Athletics in a game against the California Angels.

“It says a lot about their character and a lot about that person and you gain a lot of respect for people who do that,” Olt said of Ferrell’s efforts. “I think for him doing this, it’ll be huge [for the cause].”

Ferrell is no stranger to the Cubs. He’s sung the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field and donned over-sized glasses to deliver his best Harry Caray impersonation. Now, he’s listed on the team’s active roster.

Bryant was excited to be part of it, too.

“I think it does put a little more pressure on me to make a better throw,” Bryant said. “And, I’m throwing to Will Ferrell, too. That’s pretty cool. I would’ve never expected that in a million years playing this game.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/11 Homer-happy Cubs

0311selfie

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