Joe Maddon cites ‘tendency to be conservative’ for handling of Kris Bryant
After resuming baseball activities on Thursday, Kris Bryant was held out of Friday’s starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game after being hit in the head by a pitch on Sunday.
And while Bryant isn’t playing in Friday’s matinee against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon did have a good report on his progress before the first pitch. Maddon went so far as to say Bryant could be back in the lineup as soon as Saturday.
“That’s the word I’m getting, I think he’s feeling more like himself today,” Maddon said, via the Chicago Tribune. “Checking with (trainer PJ Mainville) last night before I left, and I guess today he’s had some really good stuff going on workout-wise. So if I had to guess I’d bet by (Saturday) we’d be in pretty good shape.”
Bryant was cleared of any concussion symptoms following Sunday’s HBP, but the footage makes it clear how frightening of a scene it was when it occurred.
Scary moment as #Cubs Kris Bryant gets drilled in the brim of his batting helmet by Rockies pitcher German Marquez. Bryant taken out of the game after trainers checked on him. @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/S8f3KmfF7I
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) April 22, 2018
In light of the severity of the situation, Maddon made it clear the Cubs would continue to play it safe with their star third baseman.
“There’s a tendency to be conservative right now,” Maddon said. “I think it’s a good thing.”
Maddon’s comments echo what he had to say earlier in the week concerning how caut the Cubs would deal with Bryant.
Joe Maddon on how Kris Bryant gets over the trauma of being hit in the head and steps into the box again: pic.twitter.com/Y7VFTkRRHp
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) April 26, 2018
The Cubs have won two of three games in Bryant’s absence. However, the team obviously is eager to get him back in the lineup as soon as he’s healthy and ready. In 19 games this season, Bryant is slashing at a .319/.467/.536 clip with two homers and 11 RBI. Losing that kind of production hurts, which makes the Cubs’ handling of Bryant indicative of how valuable he is to the team in the long-term.