The Cubs talked about exposing Kris Bryant to the outfield throughout the off-season and he finally lined up in left field last Thursday. Bryant played two games in left field before he was re-assigned to minor league camp. And he’s expected to see more time in left field for the Iowa Cubs.
Publicly the Cubs are saying they see Kris Bryant as a third baseman. And Bryant is working hard on his defense because he would like to play third in the majors.
The Cubs haven’t decided where Bryant will ultimately end up playing. He could be the third baseman of the future or the Cubs’ future left fielder or spend time at both positions once he’s called up.
Joe Maddon said Sunday he would like Bryant to play outfield and third base if he’s sent down to Iowa to begin the season. Maddon wants Bryant to be prepared to play either position at the big league level.
As expected, the Cubs sent Kris Bryant down Monday to Triple-A Iowa.
Maddon explained he likes for his players to be able to play multiple positions, a philosophy that is shared with the front office. The Cubs have added to the individual player development plans that each player in the system be able to play at least two positions.
The Cubs’ skipper doesn’t think moving a player around the field hurts his offense. Maddon thinks the exact opposite and that it helps the player relax at the plate because he is not thinking about hitting, he’s focused on his defense.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been transparent. The Cubs do not know how all of the pieces will fit together. Epstein and Hoyer have said that scenarios have been discussed from every angle. And there are plans in place.
Right now there is a lot of talent at the big league level and more pushing its way to the majors, and no one knows which players will make a successful transition and which ones won’t.
ESPN Chicago posted an interesting quote from Theo Epstein: “How great would it be to see Mike Olt play for two weeks and see if it’s for real? Then we have a huge asset to put out in left field.”
Mike Olt has played his way back into the conversation this spring. Olt was pretty much written off by the mainstream media and a majority of the fan base after his struggles and all of the swinging and missing last season. Olt made adjustments and applied them when he was sent to Iowa and he’s looked like a different player since he was recalled in September. And his success in September carried over to the Cactus League after spending the winter healthy and focused on baseball, not rehab.
The Cubs are creating as many options as possible to keep Kris Bryant’s bat in the lineup once he’s called up to The Show.
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Cubs Reportedly Haven’t Decided if Kris Bryant is a Third Baseman or an Outfielder