Whether Kris Bryant returns from his sore left wrist Friday or a few days after that, it’s anything but certain that he’ll return to the leadoff spot.
“When Kris comes back, we’ll assess,” manager David Ross said Wednesday, when he used the hot-hitting Ian Happ as his leadoff man for the second consecutive day since Bryant was sidelined after getting an anti-inflammatory injection in the wrist. “I don’t know where things will be at.”
Bryant, who dealt with minor back and elbow issues before hurting the wrist and left ring finger on a diving play in Cleveland last week, is hitting just .177 with a .271 on-base percentage entering this weekend.
Ross tapped the three-time All-Star and former MVP for the leadoff spot — bumping Bryant up one spot from his accustomed spot — during spring training and still considers it a good choice.
But Happ — who reached base four times as Tuesday’s leadoff man and led off Wednesday’s first game of a doubleheader with a homer — might look like a needed spark in the moment when Bryant’s back.
“I trust Kris Bryant. I trust Kris Bryant anywhere in the lineup, especially at the top,” Ross said. “Do I think his struggles have anything to do with the leadoff spot? No, if that’s the question that you’re alluding to.
“But if it makes us better at some point to move him down, then I’ll talk to Kris about that and get back to [media] about that.”