SEPT. 22: The Cubs are optimistic Bryant won’t require an IL stint, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
SEPT. 21, 9:34pm: Bryant is day-to-day for now, though manager David Ross said he’s “worried” about the injury, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com tweets.
8:07pm: Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant left their game against the Pirates on Monday with right oblique tightness, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic was among those to report. The Cubs replaced Bryant with David Bote.
Any oblique issue to a regular is a red flag for a team, especially for a 31-22 Cubs club leading the NL Central by 3 1/2 games and nearing a playoff berth. It remains to be seen whether Bryant will play again this year, but it’s especially troubling that the three-time All-Star and former MVP hasn’t come anywhere close to his usual form this season. Bryant is hitting a woeful .195/.283/.301 with two home runs and a career-worst .106 ISO in 138 plate appearances.
Despite his uncharacteristic struggles this year, the Cubs obviously still want Bryant in their lineup on a daily basis. They’re on their way to the playoffs, after all, but however the postseason goes, the Cubs will have to decide in the offseason whether to keep Bryant, who was the subject of trade rumors last winter. He’s making a prorated $18.6MM in 2020 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the ’21 campaign