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Bryant held out of finale, could return Thursday

Slugger needs OK from team physician; Farrell pitches in hometown ballpark
MLB.com @castrovince

CLEVELAND -- Though Kris Bryant was held out of the Cubs' lineup again Wednesday for the finale of a two-game set with the Indians, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he is not anticipating a prolonged absence for his star third baseman, who was hit in the helmet by a fastball from Rockies starter German Marquez on Sunday. Bryant has passed concussion tests, but was out of the lineup for the second straight game.

"I really anticipate good stuff," Maddon said. "If anything went the other way, I'd be really surprised. … I don't anticipate any kind of long delay here."

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CLEVELAND -- Though Kris Bryant was held out of the Cubs' lineup again Wednesday for the finale of a two-game set with the Indians, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he is not anticipating a prolonged absence for his star third baseman, who was hit in the helmet by a fastball from Rockies starter German Marquez on Sunday. Bryant has passed concussion tests, but was out of the lineup for the second straight game.

"I really anticipate good stuff," Maddon said. "If anything went the other way, I'd be really surprised. … I don't anticipate any kind of long delay here."

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Though Maddon was not ruling out the possibility of Bryant being available off the bench Wednesday, he said Bryant will see team physician Dr. Stephen Adams upon the club's return to Chicago on Thursday. He said Bryant returning to the lineup for that night's game would be the "best-case scenario."

"Doc Adams has the final say," Maddon said. "I guess when he gets back home, it will be really solidified."

Tommy La Stella was initially in Bryant's place at third again Wednesday, but the Cubs made a late position switch, with La Stella moving to second and Javier Baez playing third.

After being struck by Marquez's 1-2 pitch on the brim of his helmet Sunday, Bryant walked toward the dugout. He stayed on his feet while talking to Maddon and team trainers before he was helped off the field. He had a small laceration above his left eye from his sunglasses.

Bryant is hitting .319/.467/.536 with two homers, seven doubles and 11 RBIs through 19 games this season, his fourth in the Majors.

Happy homecoming

Luke Farrell was only days removed from his Cubs debut when he was sent out to finish Tuesday's 10-3 win over the Indians, and it was a special moment for the 26-year-old right-hander. The son of former Red Sox and Blue Jays skipper John Farrell, Luke grew up in the Cleveland area while his father was farm director for the Indians. So pitching at Progressive Field in front of some his high-school buddies was a thrill.

Farrell had actually pitched at Progressive Field once before, as a student at nearby St. Ignatius for a high-school game held on the big league field. But Tuesday's outing was a tick above that experience.

"To be able to do it on this stage in a Major League game made it all the more special," he told the Indians Radio Network.

Farrell gave up an unearned run on two hits but struck out the side, and Maddon was impressed with the life on his fastball and breaking ball. In the other dugout, Tribe manager Terry Francona, a close friend of John Farrell, said it was a "surreal" experience to see Luke on the Major League mound, especially given the medical ordeal Luke endured several years back, when he twice had to have a tumor removed from his throat.

"I mean, shoot, I saw Luke when he was coming out of surgery, and it was real serious," Francona said. "And even back further, I probably saw him when he was 1 or 2 sitting in his mother's arms at the pool in Tucson. Yeah, I wrote John a note right after the game. That was pretty cool."

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant