Like I got into yesterday, had you told me in the first few seconds after Kris Bryant took a 96 mph fastball off the head on Sunday that he wasn’t going to be playing that Thursday, I probably would have reacted with a, “Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. I just hope he’s OK. Take all the time you need.”
But the only words we’ve received from the Cubs have been about no concussion, “OK,” traveling with the team, no change in status, under evaluation, etc. Since we don’t exactly know what’s going on, I’m not about to start criticizing the flow of information here. For all we know, everything has proceeded completely transparently and reasonably, and it’s just been an uncertain and scary situation. But, since we don’t know much of anything, I can’t offer any guidance (for you or for myself) at this point.
Here’s the latest, which looks nearly identical to the previous update:
The Cubs say no change in the status of Kris Bryant who remains "under evaluation" after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch on Sunday. He'll miss his third straight game and is scheduled to meet with the Cubs team doctor today. Tommy La Stella starts… https://t.co/Hka27xpiLg
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) April 26, 2018
Bryant remains under evaluation, will be examined by Dr. Adams later today.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) April 26, 2018
Bryant still plans to meet with team doctor today. Team says no change in his condition/status. Remains "under evaluation" https://t.co/cHQNmUkt4K
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) April 26, 2018
#Cubs stay "status quo" on Kris Bryant. He will meet with the team doctor later today.
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) April 26, 2018
Since the plan was already for Bryant to meet with the doctor today and then possibly play tonight, it seems like something was clear enough before meeting with the doctor that Bryant was not going to be playing tonight. And whatever that something was, it wasn’t clear to Joe Maddon yesterday, who called playing tonight a best case scenario. So, while it may be status quo to the Cubs, no one outside of the Cubs actually knows what that status was/is. Things are the same as they were … whatever that was.
Again, please read the tone there as only one of concern, not criticism. Without knowing what’s going on, I think it would be crummy for any of us to rip the Cubs or Bryant or anyone on the “inside” in this situation. I can conjure a dozen legitimate reasons for why things have played out the way they have, including the messaging. Since we’re talking about a head injury here, though, I don’t want to speculate.
I’m just concerned at this point. I’d like to have a better sense of what’s going on with Bryant, not only for his own health, but also for the Cubs’ performance – the former is far more important, the latter is just a matter of analysis. The Cubs are much better when they have Kris Bryant than when they don’t.
The Cubs must be uncertain to some degree also, otherwise they’d probably strongly consider the 7-day concussion DL, since they’ll now be playing shorthanded in an NL park against an NL Central opponent. With backdating, a move to the DL now would have Bryant out through Sunday. We’ve been giving no word publicly that such a move is under consideration, however.
Hopefully Bryant takes all the time he needs, and the Cubs are able to manage the roster/games as well as possible in the meantime. If we get more information in the interim, we’ll pass it along.
UPDATE (Michael): Although he still won’t be starting tonight, Kris Bryant is reportedly taking batting practice at Wrigley Field right now, which is enormously good news:
Kris Bryant headed out for BP .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) April 26, 2018
If the injury were more serious than the team was letting on (or initially knew, themselves), he wouldn’t be out there swinging a bat – practice or not. I can’t promise he’ll be back tomorrow, but I’m guessing he might be if this batting practice session goes normally and smoothly.