CHICAGO — Kris Bryant has a bum shoulder.
And for that he says: Thank you.
Here is his rationale. If not for the sore left shoulder that has sidelined him since July 24, Bryant would not have altered a demanding practice regimen that he now views as overly counterproductive.
“I’m glad it happened this early because I want to play till I’m 40,” he said. “As much as it stinks to be on the DL, I see this as a win for me.”
Manager Joe Maddon was thrilled to hear a summary of those comments relayed to him.
“All those swings taken for so many years, I would bet that it was overdone, not necessary,” Maddon said. “We’ve all been taught that the right way to do things is to do more and more and you’ll be better because of it … what we’ve created over the last 30 years or so with batting cages and machines and tunnels, we’ve permitted this situation where guys feel like it’s the right way to do it. I’m telling you, man, if that was the right way to do it, everybody would be a .300 hitter and nobody would strike out.
“You have to figure out what’s right for you and what you can withstand as a human being. I learned this a while ago and I’m glad he’s seeing that right now. Do your work, enough of it to feel good and right. And then get away. (Otherwise) you’ll either develop bad habits or it will wear your body down.”
Bryant said there’s no timetable for his return but said he is “totally confident” he will play again this season. He is taking ground balls and “stages of” dry swings without a baseball.
“It’s going slow, but that seems to be the smart thing to do,” he said.
Bryant believes his shoulder has been adversely affected by taking too many “violent” swings in pregame work.
“Practice a little slower in the cage,” he said of his new plan, “and then have more for the game.”