CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Kristopher Bryant appears to be close to a rehab assignment.Bryant, who has been sidelined since June 23 because of inflammation in his left shoulder, took batting practice on the field and did some defensive drills on Saturday at Wrigley Field.Cubs manager Joe Maddon talked to Bryant
CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Kristopher Bryant appears to be close to a rehab assignment.
Bryant, who has been sidelined since June 23 because of inflammation in his left shoulder, took batting practice on the field and did some defensive drills on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon talked to Bryant on the bench on Friday.
"I talked to him specifically about taking your swings and we'll try to figure out how many at-bats you may need to feel comfortable coming back to play with us," Maddon said Saturday.
"We did not decide or determine how many [at-bats in the Minors] -- I want to leave that up to him. Basically, 'How do you feel? Are you seeing the ball well? Does your shoulder feel good?' [We talked about] those kind of things."
Where Bryant will play has yet to be determined. The Triple-A Iowa team is currently in Nashville, then has Monday through Wednesday off for the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game. Double-A Tennessee will be home next week against Montgomery and Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach will be home against Carolina. Class A South Bend is at Lansing on Monday, off Tuesday, then home Wednesday against Beloit.
Darvish to travel
Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) will accompany the Cubs on their next road trip to San Francisco and San Diego. There's no date set for when he will resume throwing.
"Let him dictate to us how you're feeling and then we'll start to create the rest of the program," Maddon said. "He's talking good and feeling better, and that's the best sign."
A declining run game
Players aren't running as much as they used to, and Maddon has noticed a difference. In 2008, the Rockies led the National League with 141 steals; last year, the Brewers were first in the NL with 128. The Cubs totaled 87 stolen bases in '08, 62 last season.
"Part of it is the analytical component of the game where you don't want to make outs on the bases," Maddon said.
The Nationals' Trea Turner, the Reds' Billy Hamilton and the Braves' Ozzie Albies are players who can run. Atlanta's Ender Inciarte and Washington's Michael A. Taylor currently lead the NL with 23 thefts apiece.
"I like basestealing," Maddon said. "I like speed in the game. I think it's gotten away from that in general terms. It's been more of a bludgeoning kind of thing, whether it's hitting or pitching. I do like finesse. Billy Hamilton is a pain. When he gets on base, he's almost always going to score. I know the opposition feels the same way about Javy [Baez].
"I think it's a game changer, and I love it," Maddon said. "I do hope we see a resurgence in the basestealer."
Baez leads the Cubs with 15 stolen bases. No other player is in double digits.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.