Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was out of the lineup Tuesday after suffering right oblique tightness during the game against the Pirates on Monday.
Bryant received treatment and was feeling better, manager David Ross said, but was not available.
“He feels better today, which is good news to me,” Ross said before the game. “I think there’s still stiffness in there. The oblique area is a real unique injury, having had it. You’re only going to feel it under real strenuous activity. He hurt it on the check-swing take.
“You saw yesterday, he could kind of get through it. You have to be cautious with this thing. I talked to him last night. It was definitely tight last night but doing better today. To me, that’s a good sign.”
Ross says they’re not approaching Bryant’s latest setback as something that could put him on the 10-day injured list, but he wants to be cautious to avoid rushing things with the postseason a week away.
He also will have some options at third base if Bryant is forced to miss more time during the last week of the regular season. David Bote, who started at third in the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday, has gotten the majority of the starts at the position when Bryant has been out of the lineup.
Utility man Nico Hoerner also could play third depending on the matchup.
“Right now, [Bote] would be the main guy, but David is dealing with some things, as well,’’ Ross said. ‘‘So I want to balance health and everything. There’s a lot to balance there, but I trust Nico at third, and he could get some time over there.’’
Quintana in, Brothers out
The Cubs optioned left-hander Rex Brothers to alternate site South Bend so Jose Quintana could be activated from the IL.
Brothers had an 8.10 ERA in three games this season.