While I’m certain Kris Bryant wants to get back to Chicago as quickly as possible, it’s hard to imagine anyone not loving the swooning he’s receiving from the Cubs fans in Iowa:
Nice to have you back, KB! pic.twitter.com/6Nluzptyk5
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) August 29, 2018
Bryant played his third game there yesterday (1-3, 1 K), bringing his total rehab stat line to 2-8, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. So … is it time to come home and help the Cubs down the stretch? “I haven’t talked to them yet,” Bryant told the Des Moines Register. “We don’t know yet. I know rosters expand Sept. 1. So, there should be a good chunk of those guys going up, too. Hopefully I’m a September call-up.”
Heh … the 2016 MVP hopes to be a September call-up.
Bryant is correct in pointing out that rosters expand from 25 to the full 40-man on Saturday, September 1st, meaning that if the Cubs waited to call him up until then, he wouldn’t have to displace anyone on the roster. But obviously Bryant is the type of guy you don’t have to “wait” to activate. If he’s ready he’s ready, and it’s entirely possible that he’ll be ready very soon. With that said, the September 1st thing can still be considered “a” factor among many.
For example, Bryant said he wanted to play in three or four games before returning, right? Well, yesterday was game #3 for Bryant, and he’s been written into the lineup, starting in left field, against the Oklahoma City Dodgers this afternoon:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) August 30, 2018
That could just as easily be his fourth and final game before hitting the road. But it’s apparently possible he might play another rehab game tomorrow, too. Or, at least, based on his comments, we must assume it’s been discussed. “We’re still trying to figure out the plan. … but it looks like there might be rain on Friday,” Bryant said. “So, who knows? If I don’t play another game here, I think it’ll be all right, too.”
I said yesterday, given that the Chicago Cubs are heading to Atlanta for a single makeup game tonight before setting course for Philadelphia this weekend, that Bryant would be better off playing in today’s I-Cubs game and flying straight to Philadelphia later tonight/early tomorrow, and it seems like that may be the plan.
With that approach, Bryant probably takes tomorrow off entirely before returning to the Cubs’ roster on Saturday, which happens to be when rosters expand anyway. No need to have him play a minor league game today, and then travel and play immediately tomorrow with the big league team – he can rejoin his mates, of course, but it feels like a natural break for a guy who will need some down the stretch if he’s going to keep that shoulder working.
I’d be remiss . if I didn’t at least address the fact that Bryant is playing left field today. Of course, Bryant will mostly be at third base when he finally returns to the Cubs lineup, but given the addition of Daniel Murphy and emergence of David Bote, it’s at least worth giving Bryant some reps in the outfield, because he may occasionally be out there. Indeed, given the way Albert Almora and Ian Happ have(n’t) been swinging it, that’s very possible, indeed.
But again, put that all on the backburner, because the Cubs will be getting a top tier September call-up very soon!