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.

Mark Cuban is glad he couldn't buy an MLB team, says 'baseball is a mess'

Mark Cuban is glad he couldn't buy an MLB team, says 'baseball is a mess'

Mark Cuban is one of the more well-known and outspoken owners in sports. He lived up to that reputation with a shot at Major League Baseball on Tuesday.

Cuban tweeted out a link to an interview with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talking about the Houston Astros' cheating scandal. Cuban took a shot, saying “baseball is a mess.”


Cuban tried multiple times to buy an MLB team. The Cubs were the first team he bid for in 2008, but Cuban has also made bids for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Ricketts family bought the team in 2009 instead of Cuban.

The word was that Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks and became a vocal part of the NBA, was denied because MLB didn’t want him as an owner. Seems like he is happy with that now.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.

Tom Ricketts thinks Chicago Cubs 'have the best team in our division'

Tom Ricketts thinks Chicago Cubs 'have the best team in our division'

For the first time since 2015, expectations around the Cubs aren’t that high.

Sure, a significant core of the 2016 World Series-winning team is still around but, also for the first time since 2015, the Cubs are coming off a season in which they did not make the playoffs. Plus, the offseason hasn’t inspired much confidence that the team will improve from its 84 wins in 2019.

Despite that, owner Tom Ricketts talked the talk about his team being the best in the NL Central.

“I think we have the best team in our division,” Ricketts said during a press conference from spring training on Monday. “I think we have a really dynamic, exciting new manager. I think the players are going to play very, very hard for David Ross. Barring some kind of crazy injuries, I think we should win our division and get back in the playoffs.”

RELATED: Javy Baez on 2019 Cubs: 'We weren't ready' to play

The Cubs’ offseason lacked a notable addition on paper. Here, Ricketts is alluding to Ross being that notable addition. If things got stale under Joe Maddon, perhaps that was a reason for underachievement. Expecting Ross to be the biggest reason for a turnaround is a lot to put on a rookie manager with no coaching experience, but it would be weird if Ricketts didn’t hype up his own guy.

Recently signed Jason Kipnis agrees that the Cubs have the best roster in the division on paper. Kipnis told a story about texting Anthony Rizzo about it when he talked to the media from Mesa on Sunday.

“They got a good core here. I’m well-aware of that. They’re well-aware of that, too,” Kipnis said. “I texted him and called him, and asked him what happened last year because I look at rosters, I look at St. Louis’, I look at all that and I’m like, ‘I still would take your guys' roster.’”

Early projections don’t agree with Ricketts and Kipnis. The Cubs are not favored in the division as projected by USA Today, which put the Cubs at 82 wins, and PECOTA, which has the Cubs averaging 84.5 wins.

Still, Ricketts believes in his group to get to the playoffs.

“Once you’re in the playoffs, there’s no reason to think you won’t go all the way,” Ricketts said. “I think one of the things that people realize about baseball playoffs is it doesn’t matter what your record was during the season. Everyone has a chance to go all the way. So that’s what we have to do. We have to get back on top of our division and I think we have the right guys to do that.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.