Kris Bryant said it’s “very frustrating” looking at the schedule and seeing the games dwindle away in this truncated 60-game season.
“I felt like we were running out of time right when we started the season, days just going by and the season’s [almost] halfway done,” Bryant said Sunday.
That said, after playing through injury, he and the Cubs knew the best course of action was to give his ailing left wrist/ring finger time to heal.
The Cubs placed Bryant on the 10-day injured list Saturday due to that nagging injury sustained back on Aug. 12 in Cleveland. He originally missed two games last week before returning Saturday against Milwaukee, last playing in Monday’s doubleheader against St. Louis.
In this short season, Bryant said the mental battle is “absolutely” harder than a normal campaign. He hit a homer a half inning after jamming his wrist in Cleveland but said Sunday he told Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo how he wasn’t feeling great in the on-deck circle prior to that at-bat.
“You're like ‘Oh man this is awesome, like okay, I'm fine. Nothing’s hurting, I'm good,’ and then it just progressively speeds up on you,” Bryant said of the mindset after hitting that homer. “Squeezing and stuff in the outfield I was like ‘Oh man, this hurts but I feel great. I just hit a home run.’
“It's like hard to balance those feelings of like, ‘Hey, you know you're not feeling great right now but hey you just hit a home run. Keep playing.’”
Bryant has received treatment on his wrist and got an injection this week. He’s taken some light swings in recent days, but the injury hasn’t healed as he and the team would like. He said Sunday the outside of his wrist pinches on the extension of his swing.
Bryant is working on pain management and range of motion in his treatment, hoping to get to a point where he can swing without hesitation. He’s doesn’t want to put a set return date but said he's "always optimistic." He’s eligible to come off the IL next Saturday, when the Cubs play a doubleheader in Cincinnati.
"The hardest part is to balance the mental side of getting through pain or injury, especially with games running out," he said. "I just gotta accept it for what it is and take the time to get better.
"It's very frustrating just to continue to look at the schedule and realize that hey man, we’re running out of time here."