Having been burned by too many injuries that initially seemed like no big deal and then turned into much longer periods of absence, I am wary of feeling too much relief just yet on Kris Bryant and his ankle.
Heck, the Cubs literally have three players on the disabled list right now – Kyle Hendricks, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward – who were suffering from totally-no-big-deal-don’t-worry stuff that all turned into much longer ordeals than initially expected. And none of them had to be helped off the field.
So, then, I’m not even sure I can give you cautious optimism yet.
But I can give you the update.
The team did perform X-rays on Kris Bryant’s ankle after he rolled it on third base last night and had to be removed from the game. There was no break, so that’s a good first note. The team labeled the injury a “mild to moderate ankle sprain,” which can obviously mean a range of things, but that’s understandable, given that you can’t know exactly how the thing is going to look and feel after a night of rest and/or swelling.
Joe Maddon said that the timetable is uncertain right now, but Bryant will definitely not play today (Cubs.com). He said he hopes it’ll be just a couple days, which is entirely possible – but obviously longer is also entirely possible.
A disabled list stint sure seems likely to me – based solely on the fact that it’s just a 10-day minimum, and the Cubs tend to be abundantly cautious – but it’s not something the Cubs are conceding just yet. You could take that as a preliminarily good sign (even if he does ultimately go on the DL), if you were feeling positive this morning.
For me, I see that there are just ten games left before the All-Star break, and I wonder if all involved might not just be better off letting Bryant be on the DL until the break, so he’d get over two full weeks to rest while missing only ten games.
(Of course, you’d hate to see Bryant miss this weekend’s series in Cincinnati, given that it seems like he hits about five homers there in every series.)
In any case, although the Cubs do not have an MVP on the bench to step in and replace Bryant, they do at least have several coordinating options to cover third base. With it being Jeimer Candelario’s natural position, you’d figure he would take most of the starts in Bryant’s absence, but it’s also possible that if Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell return before Bryant, the Cubs might slide Javy Baez over to third.
I’d imagine we’ll hear more later today on Bryant’s status.