Cubs' Goal Is Full Health, 'Superstar' Form For Bryant

Kris Bryant has been sidelined since July 23 with shoulder soreness.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
August 09, 2018 - 12:56 pm
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant

Joe Puetz/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) As the Cubs remain in a tight NL Central race, their full intention with injured third baseman Kris Bryant remains to mend him back to complete health, not a lesser variation to just get him back on the field.

Bryant has been sidelined since July 23 with left shoulder soreness and remains on the disabled list. He'd been playing through the ailment for a bit, but it was inhibiting his swing.

"Getting Kris Bryant back at some percentage less than 100 percent, I'm not sure that's what we need," general manager Jed Hoyer said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Thursday afternoon. "We need him back and being the superstar player that he is. I think we've seen that as he's dealt with this injury that it has taken a toll on him. We want to get him healthy. We're really thankful that David Bote has been able to step in and play really well and other guys as well to allow us to get through this stretch without Kris. But I think we're lying if we say we don't miss him. Hopefully, he can get this thing right and get back and be really close to 100 percent for that final kick in the season."

Bryant is hitting .276 with 11 homers, 44 RBIs and an .854 OPS in 76 games. He has just three homers since May 15.

"The focus is on getting him to a place where he doesn't feel it at all when he swings," Hoyer said. "And that way he can play free and easy and be able to be himself."

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Meanwhile, right-hander Yu Darvish felt "great" after throwing around 30 pitches in live batting practice Wednesday, Hoyer said. Darvish has been sidelined since May 20 with right triceps tendinitis and an elbow impingement.

"He had a really good sim game yesterday," Hoyer said Thursday. "He felt great, he said he felt good. John Baker caught him. He said he looked great. I think the biggest thing is how he comes through today. I think with all these injuries, a lot of what you're looking at is how you bounce back, how you recover. We'll have a better sense today and tomorrow with what his timetable is. But he's been progressing nicely."

Darvish is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts this season. The Cubs' hope is to get him back in September and in rhythm for the playoffs.