Bryant feels good after rehab action with Iowa

Cubs third baseman logs two hits, plays defense on Tuesday

August 29th, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cubs third baseman singled and drew two walks in his second Minor League rehab game on Tuesday night, while starting at third base for Triple-A Iowa.

On Monday, Bryant went 0-for-3 with a walk for Iowa as the designated hitter. Tuesday was his first start at third base, and he contributed to Iowa's 8-3 win over Oklahoma City.

"Honestly, all the at-bats felt great," Bryant said of his first game action on Monday since July 23. "I made three outs, but I feel like I hit the ball hard twice. I saw a lot of pitches; laid off some really good pitches in the dirt, so overall I was really pleased with it."

Sidelined with left shoulder inflammation, Bryant said he felt fine physically after his first game back.

"I feel good, a little tired, a little sore," he said. "I mean, I haven't played a game in a month, but overall I feel pretty good."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was concerned about how Bryant would feel physically.

"I heard he did well," Maddon said before Tuesday's suspended game with the Mets at Wrigley Field. "I haven't heard 'soreness' or 'stiffness.' Overall, good. Nothing bad. I guess we'll know more [Tuesday] actually playing on the field."

These rehab games feature the debut of Bryant's retooled swing. He described the follow through as akin to a golf swing.

"Two-hand finish that I've been practicing on, something to alleviate any use of my shoulder," Bryant said.

While the new swing has gotten a lot of notice, Bryant is at ease with it.

"It's not like an overhaul, its just minor tweaks," he said. "If it was a complete change of stance and complete leg kick, obviously it would take a lot longer than this so it's been pretty easy for me."

Bryant said his goals are pretty simple during his rehab. He wants to "get back into baseball-playing shape, seeing pitches, get my timing right. Hopefully I'll see a few ground balls. Things are going really good."

The Cubs' athletic trainers are keeping an eye on how he swings and his shoulder.

"I'm not too worried about [the shoulder]," Bryant said. "I think we have a pretty good program in place with strengthening and getting my work in after games, and stuff like that. So I just got to be more diligent in what I do after the games and make sure that I'm taking care of it."

Bryant said he doesn't expect to be away from Chicago much longer and he wants to get back and contribute.

"It's kind of really up to me, just kind of how I feel, but three, four games [in the Minors] I think would be great," he said.

The Cubs have managed the best record in the National League without Bryant in the lineup.

"I want to get back out on the field with the guys," he said. "They are playing really good. It kind of stinks not being out there with them, but it's nice they are doing well, and I can't wait to get out there and join them."