Montero begins rehab assignment with Iowa

May 11th, 2016

CHICAGO -- CHICAGO -- Catcher Miguel Montero, on the disabled list since April 25 with tightness in his lower back, began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, and went 0-for-3 against Nashville. Cubs manager Joe Maddon does not expect Montero to need much time with the Minor League team.

"We'll just let him go play and see how he feels," Maddon said on Tuesday. "It could be relatively quick, it could take a little time -- it depends on how his back feels."

Maddon is a little concerned about overworking David Ross, but so far the veteran has handled the extra work.

"He said he feels great, and he's been doing a lot of extra work," Maddon said of Ross, 39. "He's in good shape, and he was not banged up by any means. I was concerned, but he made me feel better."

• Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, was asked about his contract status on Tuesday, and there is no news to report. His contract expires in October.

"[There's no update] with any of our players or myself," Epstein said. "It's status quo."

He also isn't too concerned after seeing the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg sign a seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

"It doesn't impact us too much," Epstein said. "Obviously, it will impact the market, and we have to operate in the market. It is what it is."

The one player who might be affected is pitcher Jake Arrieta, who will be a free agent after the 2017 season.

• Third baseman Kris Bryant did well enough last season to win National League Rookie of the Year honors, but that didn't stop him from wanting to be better.

"It's unusual, first of all, to have a young guy like that willing to make the adjustment and asking to make the adjustment after all the success that he had," Maddon said.

Maddon said Bryant had an abrupt uppercut swing and knew there were pitches he couldn't get to. So he went to hitting coach John Mallee, and they worked on changing his launch angle and swing so he could get to those pitches. It's working. Bryant entered Tuesday's game batting .299.