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Kris Bryant thrives on being uncomfortable, will start at first base for Cubs

Kris Bryant will start at first base for the Cubs Friday against the Braves. | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Sometimes Kris Bryant gets into the shower in the morning and turns the faucet to cold.

“You know, just to switch things up,” Bryant said.

Bryant might appear cool, calm and collected on the field, but don’t let his composure fool you. The Cubs third baseman thrives off being uncomfortable.

“I might look comfortable [at third base or at the plate],” Bryant said, “but I kind of [thrive] on being uncomfortable because it’s the only way to make progress. … Putting yourself out of that comfort zone is big, especially in sports. You don’t ever want to feel like you’re comfortable or complacent because that’s where you start to go backward.”

When the Cubs take on the Braves at Wrigley Field on Friday at 1:20 p.m., Bryant will not take his usual spot near the third-base bag.

The Cubs are starting Bryant at first. He’ll fill the temporary void left by Anthony Rizzo, who was put on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week with a sore lower back.

This will be Bryant’s ninth start at first base in the last four seasons. Although he hasn’t started at first base since last June, he most recently was switched to first in the Cubs’ 5-2 victory against the Brewers on April 7.

The biggest challenge for Bryant is to get to the bag on time.

“With certain right-handed hitters, you’re going to play with a little more pull, and as a third baseman, you want the first baseman to get there pretty quick,” Bryant said, “so you’re not trying to hit a moving target. So my biggest thing is to get there and give him a good target.”

Bryant fielded some ground balls before Friday’s game, and although Rizzo hasn’t given him any advice, he feels confident in his ability to play at first.

“I’ve played there before — just a matter of knowing what to do in certain situations,” Bryant said. “And you don’t have to throw the ball that often, which is nice. So I’m ready for it.”