A Fourth of July crash gave Kris Bryant flashbacks to the collision that ruined Kyle Schwarber’s season, but it won’t stop the MVP candidate from playing all over the field.
The Cubs exhaled after watching a possible nightmare scenario on Monday afternoon, Albert Almora Jr. sprinting over from center and knocking into Bryant as he made the catch in left, tumbling onto the Wrigley Field grass.
With an eight-run lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth inning of a game they would win 10-4, the Cubs could afford to sit Bryant, and the National League’s reigning Rookie of the Year/current home-run leader (24) felt good enough to be back in the lineup on Tuesday afternoon.
[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
“It was the first thing that crossed my mind – what happened to Kyle,” Bryant said. “Right when I hit the ground, I was like, ‘Oh, man, (this is) serious.’ Anytime your knee goes the way it’s not supposed to go, it’s scary.
“I got lucky. Things could have been a lot worse.”
Schwarber – a part-time catcher/raw defender still learning the nuances of how to play the outfield – slammed into Dexter Fowler during the first week of the season and is recovering from surgery on his left knee that reconstructed his ACL and repaired his LCL.
The Cubs can’t afford to lose Bryant, an All-Star third baseman who’s on pace for almost 50 homers and around 120 RBI and has also played first base, shortstop and all three outfield positions so far this season.
Does this make you rethink your willingness to play multiple positions?
“No, no, not at all,” Bryant said. “I’m not a veteran out there by any means, but I think I learn something new every day, and I’m getting better out there.
“We learned something from it – just be a little louder – and know who’s there. Maybe I need to peek at him, or he needs to peek at me.
“Albert’s an unbelievable outfielder. He wants to catch every ball…and that’s what makes him one of the best outfielders I’ve seen.”