Kris Bryant Hitless in First Rehab Game, Displays Pop in New Swing (Video)

Kris Bryant was back in action Monday night for the first time in over a month to take the next step in working his way back from a shoulder issue that has dogged him since mid-May. Batting second for the Iowa Cubs in Omaha, the superstar went 0-for-3 with a walk as he tested his new swing with the two-handed follow-through.

While the results weren’t spectacular and Bryant’s new mechanics are going to take some time to get used to — probably as much for fans than for the man himself — he did showcase some good pop. It had been theorized that the adjustment would give Bryant a little more oppo power, something he wasted no time trying to prove true.

In his first trip to the plate, Bryant lofted a ball deep to right that looked as if it might carry out. The ball ended up dying on the track, but the announcers noted that it probably would have been a homer had the wind not been blowing to left. Discerning viewers will notice that his left hand does actually come off the bat, though it’s not as pronounced as in the past.

Bryant’s next at-bat saw him smash a laser to the gap that the left fielder misplayed for a two-base error. Even though it should have been an out, he accomplished the goal of hitting the ball hard and hitting it in the air. And we see again that the hand is coming off, which is a habit that’s nearly impossible to break completely.

He would later walk and strike out, the latter of which is shown below for the sake of giving a few more looks at that swing.

With allowances for the questionable quality of the feed and the even more questionable quality of my videography skills, this wasn’t a bad first test. And the whole thing with the hand coming off the bat a little bit shouldn’t be a concern, since the ultimate goal is simply to limit the constant repetitive stress Bryant had been putting on that left shoulder with each swing.

He left the game after his fourth at-bat, which is to be expected for the first time out. With the I-Cubs returning home to close out the season, Bryant will likely travel to Des Moines for a another two or three games before making his way back to the big club at the end of the month.

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