Why it’s too early to judge Kris Bryant’s departure from the Chicago Cubs

Take one look at Kris Bryant’s injury report following his trade from the Chicago Cubs and you might think Jed Hoyer ditched the former National League MVP at the right time.

However, there’s more to Kris Bryant’s story over the past year than just the number of games played.

On July 30, 2021, the Chicago Cubs sent Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants as part of a franchise teardown focused on cutting payrolls. Bryant, who was named Rookie of the Year and MVP for back-to-back seasons and played a central role in the Cubs breaking their 108-year World Series drought, finished with more than six seasons in Chicago and Many fans are wondering why Bryant is no longer part of the team.

After the trade, Bryant averaged .262/.344/.444 in 51 games with the Giants, hit seven homers and drove 22. He also shone in the postseason, going 8-for-17 to the plate as San Francisco went out in the NLDS the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bryant has been solid in 2021 whether in a Cubs or Giants uniform. This year, however, was a different story when Bryant signed a seven-year, $182 million deal with the Colorado Rockies during the offseason.

Did Cubs make the right call in trading Kris Bryant?

The plans Bryant and the Rockies had for this season never materialized as back and foot injuries limited Colorado’s top acquisition to just 42 games. A battle with plantar fasciitis has kept Bryant on the injury list since early August, but Colorado general manager Bill Schmidt is hoping Bryant, who’s been battered, thrown and run in recent days, can be back on the field before the season ends.

“Even if it’s the last week or the last 10 days I think it would still be good for him (to come back and play)” Schmidt told me in an exclusive chat like the Rockies recently played in Chicago.

“When you kind of envisioned it (the lineup this season), it just didn’t work out that way.”

The first year of Bryant’s seven-year deal at the Mile High City certainly didn’t go the way anyone imagined. Part of that has been a learning curve for Bryant in not only being injured at altitude, but rehabilitating at altitude.

“In Chicago (when he was with the Cubs) we never talked about it, but in San Francisco (when he was with the Giants last season) they understood and understood,” Bryant said of the height adjustments. “A lot of the older guys there made me realize that it’s a lot harder to sleep and a lot harder to recover here. It is no joke. It definitely is.

“I definitely learned a lot in terms of recovery and just keeping up with your health here at altitude.”

When Bryant was on the field for the Rockies this season, his numbers were solid (.306/.376/.475 in 181 at-bats), giving Colorado hope, with a healthy Bryant and prospects moving up through the ranks soon in Coors arrive and potentially have prominent roles in 2023 (including top prospect Zac Veen and second-place prospect Ezequiel Tovar, who was called up to the Rockies on Thursday), Colorado may return to the postseason for the first time since 2018 (as, ironically, the Rockies defeated Bryant and the Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field).

In all, Bryant has played 93 games in a jersey other than the Cubs, not even a full season. So dWill the Cubs get rid of Bryant at just the right time? That’s a question that won’t be answered until he’s had a full season at altitude, but the Rockies are putting a lot of faith (and money) in that “no” answer.

https://fansided.com/2022/09/22/kris-bryant-cubs-trade-grade-rockies/ Why it’s too early to judge Kris Bryant’s departure from the Chicago Cubs

John Verrall

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