The Cubs have delayed the return of third baseman Kris Bryant from the disabled list indefinitely after he felt lingering soreness in his left shoulder during a pregame workout Tuesday.
Bryant, who had played through the soreness since originally jamming his shoulder on a slide more than a month ago, was eligible to return from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday.
“He worked out, and he still felt it a little bit,” said manager Joe Maddon, who had hoped to activate Bryant on Wednesday.
Maddon said Bryant might not be activated until at least Friday, after a scheduled day off, when he will test the shoulder again before the series opener against the Reds.
Bryant’s shoulder injury has not been considered serious, but he hasn’t played since June 22.
The injury has coincided with a monthlong dip in production. His .707 OPS for June was his lowest since the final month of 2016. His .373 slugging percentage was his lowest since July in his rookie season. And his one home run in June was the fewest of any of his 20 full months in the majors.
“I just want the guy to be well,” Maddon said of the 2016 MVP. “I’m loving the break he’s getting right now — over the last couple years, all the work that he’s put in.”
Maddon said he will look to get extended breaks for other players with two scheduled days off this week.
“Rest matters,” he said. “If you want great performance out of your players, if you want ball in play, if you want less strikeouts, if you want better pitching performances, make sure you have a rested athlete.”
Keep your pants on
For the second time in two weeks, closer Brandon Morrow surprisingly did not appear in the ninth inning for a save situation.
But this time his back was fine, and he had no pants-related injury.
“After four outs [Sunday], I wanted to make sure he got two days off,” Maddon said of the closer who returned from the DL less than a week ago because of the back spasm caused by taking off his pants. “He’s probably not going to be a fan of that. . . . I had that all planned before the game.”
Morrow said he prepared as if it was a normal day to pitch and was surprised when Pedro Strop got the call in the ninth instead, but realized quickly the reasoning. “Everything’s good,” he said.
Edwards continues rehab
After reliever Carl Edwards Jr. struggled with his command during his second rehab appearance. The Cubs decided to have him stay with Class AAA Iowa for at least one more appearance.
Edwards, the Cubs’ setup ace who has been on the DL since May 30 because of a shoulder injury, walked two, hit a batter and failed to finish his prescribed one inning of work Monday.
The command problems are not related to any health concerns, and he has not suffered a setback.
“Just sharpen it up a bit,” Maddon said.