Cubs

Kris Bryant suffered ankle injury in another gut-wrenching loss for Cubs

Kris Bryant suffered ankle injury in another gut-wrenching loss for Cubs

What else could go wrong for the Cubs in 2019?

As they suffered through another gut-wrenching loss to the Cardinals on a rainy afternoon at Wrigley Field Sunday, Kris Bryant left with an ankle injury after the third inning.

Bryant grounded into an inning-ending double play and as he stretched to try to beat the throw to first base, his foot slipped on the slick bag and he went down hard, rolling his right ankle in the process:

The team is calling it a sprained right ankle for Bryant and the initial x-rays were negative for any fracture. He will undergo an MRI Monday, following the same steps as Anthony Rizzo a week ago.

But don't expect a Rizzo-like return from Bryant in just a few days, as the Cubs are in a much different position now. Following Sunday's loss in the Wrigley season finale, the Cubs are now 4 games out of a playoff spot with only six games remaining. Their playoff chances were only 8.6 percent to start the day and will take another nosedive after Sunday's action (the Brewers won and the Nationals lost, so those two teams are now tied for the top Wild-Card spot. 

Bryant has been hampered by a right knee injury over the last few months, so this was the last thing he — or the team — needed right now.

It's the latest in a string of brutal injuries for the Cubs over the last month. First, it was Javy Baez going down with a thumb injury on an awkward slide into second base on Sept. 1. Closer Craig Kimbrel hit the injured list with right elbow inflammation days later and Addison Russell followed after taking a 94 mph fastball to the face.

Veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler has also missed time lately with a left oblique injury and then there was Rizzo's badly sprained ankle a week ago, though he made a miraculous, storybook recovery for the beginning of this Cardinals series.

Exactly a week after Rizzo needed help walking off Wrigley Field, he was out there with his arm around Bryant, leading his injured teammate to the dugout.

At this point, the Cubs may have no need to rush Bryant back to the field if the MRI comes back clean, but they - and he - would certainly be able to breathe easier knowing it is not an injury that would impact his 2020 status in any way.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

3:00 - Listener question: Espada or Ross? Kelly Crull shares some inside info on Joe Espada

7:30 - Kelly talks about David Ross' second interview for the Cubs managerial job.

11:30 - Listener question: Say it is Espada, do you see any way David Ross comes on as a coach behind Espada?

13:30 - Listener question: Could the team regress further due to a lack of familiarity with a new manager?

20:10 - Listener question: How hard will Theo and Jed go after Gerrit Cole? And if he's not available who else is?

23:30 - Listener question: Are you trying to extend Castellanos?

26:00 - Listener question: If you sign Castellanos are you also trading Kyle Schwarber?

28:45 - Listener question: Should the Cubs trade Kris Bryant? What would they get back in return?

33:00 - Lighting round: Will Nico Hoerner be the opening day second baseman and keep the job in 2020?

33:10 - Lightning round: Will the Cubs bring back Cole Hamels?

33:45 - Can we and should we clone Javy Baez so we have a fresh Javy when he retires, or is that unethical?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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Cubs reportedly had second interview with David Ross

Cubs reportedly had second interview with David Ross

The Cubs' managerial search is in full swing as they continue to line up intriguing candidates to replace Joe Maddon. In recent weeks, Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada's name has been floated out as a strong candidate, with reports stating that the Cubs had already scheduled their second interview with the much sought after coach

While the fact that Espada is such a strong candidate in the midst of a World Series run has led many to believe he is the runaway favorite right now, it is still very much so a wide-open race. 

It was reported that while not extremely publicized, former Cub David Ross is believed to have had his second interview with the Cubs organization this week. 

Ross, who was extremely clutch in the Cubs 2016 World Series win, has an obvious and extended history with the organization. And while there are no concrete reports on the nature of any follow-up discussions between Ross and the Cubs, it was stated that the two sides have in fact at least had those expanded conversations.

As Kelly Crull hinted at in her tweet, Ross's position with the franchise definitely makes his negotiations about the managerial opening a bit more fluid, which may lead to fewer updates on his specific discussions with the team.  

Ross and Espada certainly sound like the favorites to land the Cubs' managerial opening, as our own David Kaplan stated that manager Joe Girardi, who has been connected to the Cubs throughout this search, looks like the front-runner for the Philadephia Phillies managerial spot. 

The 2019 World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros kicks off on Tuesday night. Traditionally you do not see MLB franchises make their managerial hiring announcements during the World Series,  so the Cubs' announcement could come on one of the World Series off-days, as early as Thursday. 

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