Chicago Cubs: Karl Ravech talks Cubs-Cardinals, Cole Hamels addition

Karl Ravech of ESPN speaks prior to Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)
Karl Ravech of ESPN speaks prior to Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Losing Bryant long-term could sink the Cubs

For the second time in just over a month, Kris Bryant is on the shelf with an ailing left shoulder. He hasn’t swung a bat in nearly a week – and his injury, along with the subsequent power outage, has fans more than a bit worried.

On the year, the 2016 National League MVP carries a still very respectable .276/.380/.474 line in 76 games. But his power has been way down. Thankfully, the breakout campaign from Baez has helped fill that void in the lineup, to a degree.

Still, having Bryant back and doing what he’s capable of? That gives the lineup tremendous depth and, at least on paper, the Cubs would likely boast the best offense in the league. But if a worst-case scenario emerges and he can’t get back, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could have to improvise.

"“It would be an enormous blow if Bryant were not able to participate in the postseason for the Chicago Cubs. But the inflammation thing, let’s hope that’s all it is. He’s as important to that team as any player on that team, including Jon Lester and Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo. They’re a very different baseball team when Bryant is playing, when he’s healthy and when he’s hitting the ball to right field.”"

Bryant dismissed questions about a potential offseason shoulder surgery over the weekend, saying he’ll be back and better than ever before October. A lineup with him in it gives the Cubs a very real chance to go deep into the postseason – and Bryant knows that.

"“I’m trying to be smart about it and stubborn, like most of us are.”"

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