With two off days this week, Cubs won’t rush Kris Bryant off the DL

CHICAGO – Tuesday could have been the day that he made his return to the Cubs lineup – and it would have been something exciting for the fans that packed a warm Wrigley Field for an Interleague game.

Instead, the Cubs decided to play it a little more cautious with their star third baseman, who has struggled with shoulder soreness over the last two weeks.

Before their game with the Tigers, the Cubs elected not to bring Kris Bryant off the 10-day disabled list. Instead, they’re going to wait until Wednesday at the earliest, but with a day off Thursday, the team could elect to bring Bryant back before this weekend’s series with the Reds at Wrigley Field.

“Wednesday is the target,” said manager Joe Maddon of Bryant’s return. “If not, even Friday. I just talked to PJ yesterday, we like what’s going on. He wanted to have him hit today, on the field, do some baseball activities, and we felt good that he would be able to play tomorrow. If he doesn’t, because of the off day, he moves to Friday, otherwise he would probably go Thursday.”

Indeed Bryant took part in those workouts before the game against the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon before the Cubs’ 5-3 win over the Tigers. After experiencing shoulder soreness during the Cincinnati series, Bryant was placed on the ten-day disabled list, and hasn’t played a game since June 22.

While the third baseman could be ready for Tuesday, the key is to get the players rest after a stretch where the Cubs had just one day off since June 5. Hence Maddon figured that rushing Bryant off the DL might not be the best for the long term.

“Listen, I just want the guy to be well. I love the break that he’s getting right now. Over the past few years, all work he’s put in, even with these two days off, there’s ways to get guys even more rest. After the gauntlet that we just went through, now Monday and Thursday off, Tuesday, Wednesday play. If I can get some guys off tomorrow if possible, it’s almost like having three out of four days off.

So no need to rush the former MVP back to the field. He’ll have plenty of chances coming up over the next three months.