The Kris Bryant Watch is not limited to the fan base or media, the front office is also keeping a close eye on Bryant as he gets closer to making his Major League debut.
Jed Hoyer joined David Kaplan and Brook Weisbrod Tuesday morning on The Kap & Haugh Show. Hoyer talked about the Cubs’ win over the Reds and what he’s seen from the team over the first week of the season.
David Kaplan asked about the process that goes into evaluating Kris Bryant as he gets closer to being called up, especially after Theo Epstein said Monday the Cubs could consider bringing up Bryant with the injuries to Tommy La Stella and Mike Olt.
The front office has Randy Bush, one of the Cubs’ assistant general managers, on the road watching the Iowa Cubs and specifically Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.
“We have Randy Bush right now, he is with the Iowa team down in New Orleans.”
“We will probably check in with him every day and see how he’s doing,” Hoyer said. “Obviously he’s swinging the bat pretty well right now. He got, I think, three hits last night and homered the two previous games. I know he made a couple of errors last night throwing and that’s something we’ll definitely talk about when we talk about it today.”
“Like we’ve said all along, we know Kris [Bryant] is close. He is a very good player, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have things to work on, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have development left. That’s what we will talk about today. We’ll talk through what Randy sees and he [Randy Bush] will stay with them through that series and keep watching. We’ll keep evaluating where he is.”
The I-Cubs’ four-game series in New Orleans ends Thursday. Iowa’s home opener is Friday night against Oklahoma City.
Kris Bryant has played third base in all five of Iowa’s games this season. Bryant has not seen any time in the outfield yet. Bryant is 8-for-21 with a double, two home runs, a walk and six strikeouts (.381/.375/.714) for a 1.089 OPS.
After going 1-for-8 in the first two games, Marty Pevey shifted his lineup. Pevey moved Addison Russell to the two-hole and Kris Bryant up to third in the batting order. Bryant is 7-for-13 since the move.
Once Bryant is with the big league team, the Addison Russell Watch will commence. David Kaplan asked Hoyer about a timeframe as to when Addison Russell could be called up because on teams like the A’s and Rays, Kaplan thinks Russell would probably be their starting shortstop right now.
“The biggest thing with him is he is a very solid in all areas. He runs the bases well. He’s very steady defensively. Offensively, obviously there are things he needs to tweak but he’s a very talented offensive player.”
“I think with him we’re just sort of watching him in the same way that we watch Kris,” Hoyer said. “Watch him carefully and see what things he’s struggling with, see what things he’s doing well and keep working. But there’s no doubt he opened a lot of eyes in Spring Training. He’s very talented in a lot of different ways and I’m more excited that we have him.”
It’s ten days into the baseball season, and it appears to be only a matter of time before Kris Bryant is called up to the big leagues. Will Bryant make his debut in Pittsburgh or Cincinnati next week? Or will the front office wait until the team returns from the road on April 27? Stay tuned …