Bryant out of Cubs' lineup for 3rd straight game
Third baseman remains day to day after being hit in head Sunday
CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Kristopher Bryant remains day to day, as he was again out of the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Brewers after being hit in the head by a 96-mph fastball on Sunday in Colorado.
Bryant, who is missing his third straight game, participated in on-field pregame activities, and manager Joe Maddon said he was waiting to hear whether Bryant might be available off the bench. Maddon reiterated that he does not believe Bryant's condition is serious, but the club is waiting for "everyone to be on board" before returning him to the lineup.
Thomas La Stella started at third base in Bryant's place.
Maddon admitted that not having Bryant available hurts the team's offense. Entering Thursday, the Cubs were batting .324 and averaging 9.5 runs per game in their 11 wins, while hitting just .181 and averaging just 1.7 runs per game in their 10 losses.
Bryant is batting .319 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
"It's just different. It's hard to maintain a level of high success when you're missing guys like that," Maddon said. "You can battle through it briefly, but in the long term, you definitely don't want to lose him for a long period of time."
First baseman Anthony Rizzo said Bryant "seems good" considering how hard Bryant was hit.
"It's a scary thing," Rizzo said.
Maddon said he won't talk to Bryant about the third baseman's experience of being hit in the head, which the manager characterized as "personal." Maddon would rather Bryant speak to people who have experienced being hit in the head, if he chooses.
Maddon added that he prefers to allow Bryant to work through how he is feeling and handle getting back in the batter's box his own way.
"I'm listening to what his needs are right now," Maddon said. "I'm making sure that the medical procedures are being followed so that we do everything right. It's never going to be a unilateral decision on my part to insist that he plays, ever. I'm listening to K.B., the doctors, trying to do the right things and get him back out there. It's early. I really feel strongly that he's going to be fine, but I don't want to push it."