Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant’s X-rays thankfully come back negative

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /

The Chicago Cubs experienced quite the scare Tuesday night in New York when Kris Bryant was hit on the right hand in the very first inning.

Bryant was drilled by Mets starter Taijuan Walker on the first pitch of the at-bat, a 93.4 MPH two-seamer that came in on the hands – where pitchers typically go at the Cubs star – and clipped him. The 29-year-old left the game with what was deemed a contusion, though there are never really any assurances until further testing is completed.

Another injury, especially to Chicago’s most dangerous hitter and versatile defensive star, would have been a massive blow for the Cubs. However, Bryant appears to have avoided a long-term absence.

Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant’s X-rays came back negative following Monday’s game

Cubs manager David Ross told reporters after the game Bryant underwent additional tests. It would seem Bryant will likely be day-to-day after those tests came back negative.

Cubs fans can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s always dicey when players get hit on the hands; there’s always the possibility there’s a break, which can cause players to miss multiple weeks.

However, Bryant is only likely to miss a couple games, at most. He could be ready to go sooner depending on the level of soreness and whether Ross wants to give him an extra day. In fact, a day off might do Bryant some good.

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The 2016 National League MVP has been in a funk at the start of June. He is just 6-for-41 with one homer and three RBI. Bryant has also struck out 12 times against just three walks.

Still, there’s absolutely no question Bryant has been the most valuable player on the Cubs this season. He handily leads the club in wins above replacement (WAR) and ranks 12th in baseball in wRC+.

Moreover, Bryant has been a plug-and-play kind of option, starting at whichever position Ross needs him to play and actually providing some plus defense in the outfield. That multi-positional capability has meant quite a lot to a Cubs team that has been rife with injuries in recent weeks.

Although Bryant has scuffled at the start of the month, the Cubs have managed to stay the course. Chicago came into Wednesday’s game with the Mets at 8-6 in June, having taken two of three from the San Diego Padres and sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cubs need their top star healthy and feeling good at the end of the month, though.

Chicago will face plenty of power pitching in the second half of June. The Cubs square off with Jacob deGrom on Wednesday and also have series’ against the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

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It will certainly be a challenge for a banged-up Cubs team to get through the rest of June, which is why it’s absolutely vital Bryant has avoided a lengthier absence.