The Rundown Lite: Bryant Should Return Soon, True Story of Schwarber’s WS Comeback, Red Sox Almost Hired Maddon

Loyal readers may have noticed that we were without a Rundown yesterday and have no doubt also noticed that this is one of my ill-fated attempts to fill in for Mike Canter. Mike’s battling the flu and isn’t up to the task, so let’s send him some good vibes so he can return to doing this better than I do.

Bryant back soon

Though a concussion was quickly ruled out, Kris Bryant has missed the last two games after being hit in the head with a German Marquez fastball. He was able to travel on the team charter to Cleveland, which was a positive sign, but there’s no reason to push him back into action at this point.

More than just precaution on Joe Maddon’s part, the Cubs have said that team doctor Stephen Adams must give the all-clear for Bryant to return to the lineup. That seems like a formality, but you can’t take stuff like this for granted.

I fully expect Bryant to be in there against the Brewers Thursday evening.

Schwarber’s comeback

The legend of Kyle Schwarber’s World Series performance following what could have been a season-ending knee injury is one you’ve all heard many times. But just like a beloved movie that you learn more about over time, there’s a little more to the legend than all the flash and pomp of the main picture. Sometimes you need to stick around for the credits.

As Patrick Mooney wrote for The Athletic, assistant athletic trainer Matt Johnson was an integral part in Schwarber’s recovery. Johnson was there from start to finish, traveling with Schwarber to meet with the esteemed Dr. Daniel Cooper and observing the subsequent reconstructive surgery.

Johnson was there with the slugger during his follow-up visits and heard the answer to Schwarber’s question about whether he could hit. There were, of course, several other key players in the process and Mooney touches on them as well. It’s worth your time and if you need to get a subscription to read it, you can do so here.

Theo joins Feinsand’s pod

Theo Epstein joined Mark Feinsand on his Executive Access podcast to talk about a wide range of topics from both Boston and Chicago. Among the more notable tidbits were that David Ortiz asked for a trade back in 2003 and that the Red Sox almost hired Joe Maddon instead of Terry Francona.

There’s a great deal more in there about the Cubs’ rebuilding efforts and so forth, but I’ll withhold further details so you can listen for yourself. As with any long-form conversation (51 minutes in this case) with Epstein, you know you’re going to get some really great insight into how he views the game. There are some excellent anecdotes as well.

Quick notes

  • For as good as he’s been on the whole, Schwarber has really struggled against lefties; he is currently 1-for-14 (.071) with six strikeouts and three walks against LHP.
  • Anthony Rizzo is showing signs of life after collecting hits in three straight games. Baby steps.
  • Raise your hand if you thought Didi Gregorius would be leading MLB in just about every offensive category. It’s early, but the Yankees shortstop is slashing .372/.470/.833 with a .521 wOBA and 234 wRC+; OBP is the only one of those in which Gregorius doesn’t lead baseball.
  • Jon Lester became the first Cubs starter to record an out in the 7th inning and tied Eddie Butler with a team-high 7.0 IP this season. Lester’s effort in Cleveland was only the second time a starter has even made it into the 7th, with Chatwood’s Tuesday start being the first.
  • With an 0-for-4 effort Wednesday, Jason Heyward’s four-game multi-hit streak came to an end. That was his first such run with the Cubs and his first since Sept 11-15, 2015 with the Cardinals (2,2,2,3).
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