Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

#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

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