Bryant out of starting lineup again Friday

Fourth straight missed start for Cubs third baseman recovering from beaning

April 27th, 2018

CHICAGO -- , who was hit in the head by a pitch last Sunday, was not in the Cubs' lineup Friday for the fourth straight game, but manager Joe Maddon expects the third baseman to be back on Saturday.

"I think he's feeling more like himself today," Maddon said Friday. "I guess today he's had some really good stuff going on workout-wise. I would bet by [Saturday] he'll be in really good shape."

Bryant has been sidelined since he was hit in the first inning Sunday by a 96-mph fastball from the Rockies' in Denver.

Bryant did some baseball activities on Thursday at Wrigley Field and was examined by team physician Dr. Stephen Adams. On Friday, he repeated the activities at full exertion, including hitting on the field. He was wearing a partial face guard on his batting helmet.

Bryant has been hit by a pitch seven times this season, most in the National League.

"Maybe the word on the street is to pitch him inside," Maddon said. "I'm not accusing anybody of throwing at us. I don't believe that's the issue. It could just be a weather-related situation -- grip, not being able to control where the ball's going.

"I haven't seen anything where people are trying to do this intentionally," Maddon said. "We'll watch it as it progresses during the course of the season. I don't think there's anything sinister to this point."

Bryant is batting .319 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 19 games.

started at third base on Friday against the Brewers.