[FYI: Owing to family obligations this morning, you can expect today’s Bullets much later than usual. I mean, you probably weren’t troubled anyway, but, hey, just in case.]
A set of injury updates to a trio of very important Cubs who are all making progress in their returns to the Cubs, hopefully by early September …
- Kris Bryant swung the bat on Friday for the first time in his second rehab from shoulder soreness, and did so without pain. The progress is slow but steady, and he’s still very confident he will be contributing this year:
Does Bryant feel he can contribute to the #Cubs this season? "I feel confident. I'm totally confident I'll be back."
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 11, 2018
#Cubs Bryant Update: “Doing ground balls, working out my lower body and then the beginning stages of some dry swings and tee progression. That’s where I’m at, obviously still kind of going a little slow, but that kind of seems to be the smart thing to do.”
— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) August 11, 2018
- Bryant spoke about the plan going forward, reducing the intensity – not just the volume – of his cage and BP swings:
"Hopefully this makes me a better player."
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 11, 2018
- Who knows? Maybe this will prove to be a long-term benefit for Bryant – the kind of wakeup call even non-athletes get at some point about the way their body is changing as they age – as he looks to play for another 15 years.
- The news on Yu Darvish is not necessarily worse, but it isn’t unambiguously good – because it’s pretty much a mystery to me. Per multiple reports, Darvish will not be throwing his simulated game today as previously scheduled, and instead will throw on Tuesday. Now, given the way we’ve talked about the progression of his rehab being extra conservative and angling toward a return in the first week of September, this kind of little bump back might be completely normal, expected, and designed to align the schedule in a certain way.
- But it’s still a little odd to see him bumped back right before he’s supposed to throw. What would explain the timing? I won’t speculate, since we’ve been given no overt reason to believe this particular bump back was because of lingering or resurgent discomfort. I’ll admit – as with all things Darvish that seem a little odd – that I’m now watching his Tuesday outing all the more closely. Heck, maybe I’m just extra excitable/irrational when it comes to Darvish rehab stuff. I guess we’ll see what’s what on Tuesday.
- As for closer Brandon Morrow (biceps), he threw again on flat ground on Friday (Muskat), and the plan is for him throw again today (Rogers). The hope is that he can get back on the mound soon, but I’d personally caution you not to expect to see him doing a rehab assignment until near the end of the month. The Cubs are really going to be eyeing September for Morrow, in my view.