Kris Bryant’s Hamstring Issue Appears to Be Strictly Precautionary

It’s funny how the situation tends to color conjecture when it comes to a player leaving a July game. In the space of about 5 minutes Wednesday night, Kris Bryant went from hug watch to injured hand to hamstring tightness, all due to a lack of information and an abundance of caution.

The third baseman was replaced in the top of the 4th inning by Patrick Wisdom, which immediately led to speculation that Bryant might have been traded. Then the television broadcast showed a replay of the overturned call at second in which Bryant had gotten back to the bag safely and had his hand stepped on by Didi Gregorius. Ah, so that was the reason.

No, it was actually chalked up to hamstring tightness, which has been spreading around the roster like crazy because the players all refuse to get their hammy vaccine. Bryant presumably picked it up from Jake Arrieta, who was placed on the IL Wednesday afternoon. Arrieta had reportedly been dealing with his issue since late May, so he almost certainly picked up from Nico Hoerner, who in turn probably caught some of what had been ailing Justin Steele.

In my opinion, baseball players should treat hamstrings like tonsils or appendixes and have them voluntarily removed like Trevor Williams did.

And now that I’ve sufficiently pissed off those readers who prefer their Cubs coverage sans humor, let’s get back to Bryant. As Cubs Insider learned from a source with knowledge of the situation, Bryant simply cramped up and felt as though he could continue to play with no issues. A protective glove on his hand mitigated any issues from being stepped on as well.

David Ross confirmed after the game that Bryant got a little work done with the trainers and was feeling good, saying the All-Star is day-to-day at this point. When dealing with a wet field on a humid night, it’s completely understandable that Ross would exercise caution on a number of levels. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bryant get a little rest over the next few days for the same reasons.

I know a lot of people want to say that’s all about preserving his trade value, but it’s not exactly ideal to shelve a guy and make it appear as though you’re hiding something. Bryant is a competitor and he wants to be out there to help the Cubs recover from their skid to whatever extent they can, plus he wants to play in the All-Star Game next week with his son there to see him.

Not that he’d risk future health for an exhibition or that the Cubs would rest him just so he’s ready to in Denver, but that this shouldn’t be a big issue that limits Bryant for more than a day or two if that. And even if it was just a temporary cramp, hammies are not to be trifled with. Just stepping the wrong way on a slick, humid night can turn an otherwise innocuous tweak into an IL stint in a hurry.

No matter how you view Bryant’s future, no one wants that.

In other injury-related news, it appears as though Javier Báez is likewise on the day-to-day bus with a thumb issue that appears to be lingering. He’d been mashing pretty well lately, so this could just be another situation in which he caught something wrong and reaggravated the sprain.

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