The good part up front: Kris Bryant started doing baseball activities!
And now the rest: those baseball activities involved throwing the baseball, which was something he was always able to to do without impacting his troublesome left shoulder as far as I know. But it is, strictly speaking, a step!
As for the most important thing – swinging a bat – Bryant still doesn’t know when that’s going to happen.
“They haven’t told me to [swing] yet,” Bryant told Cubs.com of the training and medical staff, who are closely guiding his rehab program. “I’ll listen to them …. I trust what they’re telling me. From the looks of it, I feel a lot stronger and have been able to do more reps of the program we’re on which obviously makes me feel better about this whole process.”
Bryant has been out for two weeks since he briefly returned from his earlier two-week absence, which came after a month of trying to play through his shoulder injury. Sitting around and rehabbing can’t possible be fun while his teammates are trying to pull clear of the Brewers for a playoff spot, but it sounds like Bryant understands he has to follow the training program closely to put himself in the best position to stay healthy the rest of the way when he does finally return.
One of these days, Bryant is going to pick up the bat again, and we’ll see then how he feels. The sense we’ve caught throughout this process is that Bryant may have some measure of discomfort the rest of the way this season, and/or that his shoulder can be managed after he returns with extra rest. How that will impact his production and availability remains to be seen. And it’s a reminder of why the Cubs are likely to be extra cautious before bringing Bryant back this time.
That is all to say, I still don’t expect to see Bryant back soon, and I expect him to get plenty of rest when he does return. The goal is to have him in the best possible position to contribute late in the season and on through the playoffs.