There’s some good and bad in that headline, as we patiently await the FULLY-HEALTHY return of Kris Bryant, who has been troubled by a shoulder injury for months, and is currently on the disabled list for the second time with it.
“With him, it could happen quickly,” Maddon told Cubs.com of Bryant’s return to the team. “Once he gets to the point where they take the wrappers off and say, ‘Let’s go,’ and if there’s no setbacks, I think it could happen relatively fast. You just want to make sure he gets at-bats and is comfortable.”
I have no doubt that’s actually accurate in this case, because Bryant doesn’t necessarily have damage that he’s recovering from at this moment and from which he needs to build back up. Instead, it’s a matter of waiting out the inflammation and discomfort to the point where he can play through it at a high enough level that he is contributing to the team. The Cubs and Bryant have already indicated through words and actions that there aren’t major structural problems that are going to be exacerbated by Bryant playing. So, then, when he feels fine and then gets in a handful of live pitching at bats, he can return very quickly.
The bad news, though, is the imprecise part of all of this: when exactly will Bryant be able to get going again?
He has yet to resume baseball activities more than a week after he last played. We knew this absence was probably going to be prolonged, given that he rested for multiple weeks the last time this came up, and within a few days was feeling the shoulder discomfort return. In other words, just sitting him down for a couple weeks probably wasn’t going to do the trick.
So, Bryant could be back very quickly once he starts doing stuff again, it’s just that we don’t yet know when he’ll start doing stuff again.
In the meantime, David Bote will continue to be up with the big league roster, and the Cubs will continue to work him into a rotation at second and third base. He’s certainly making the most of his time, and the Cubs are fortunate to have him around. They’re also very fortunate to have two other infielders – Javy Baez and Ben Zobrist – playing out of their minds right now.