Kris Bryant doing fine after leaving game with ‘heavy legs’ vs. Cardinals

Norm Hall/Getty ImagesBryant was not in the starting lineup Wednesday but was feeling good, according to manager David Ross. ST. LOUIS — Social media was sent into a frenzy when Kris Bryant was removed from the Cubs’ 7-6 win Tuesday amid trade speculation. But the Cubs third baseman just left the game with right hamstring fatigue, easing the nerves of fans for the time being. Bryant was out of the starting lineup Wednesday. But he was feeling good, according to manager David Ross, and was available to hit off the bench. Ross is trying to manage Bryant’s workload after his star did not have much of an All-Star break. After talking with the trainers, Ross said taking Bryant out of the game to deal with “heavy legs” felt like the right thing to do. “I just tried to listen to that and listen to him and the trainers. [It] didn’t make a lot of sense [to keep him in],” Ross said. “He told me before the game, the night before [he had] just some heavy legs. And I was mapping out a day off the next day and just didn’t want a real problem to arise.” Ortega gets nod in leadoff spot Rafael Ortega has opened eyes over the last few weeks, putting together some of the Cubs’ best at-bats. He led off Wednesday against the Cardinals, playing center field, with Willson Contreras hitting second. Ortega has been a spark off the bench, going 5-for-12 in pinch-hit opportunities and hitting .364 with three doubles in July. While Ortega’s at-bats off the bench have provided a boost, Ross has been looking for opportunities to get him into the starting lineup. That has happened in three straight games. “I was just looking for something different to kind of get the offense just rolling a little earlier. Trying to mix it up,” Ross said. “Putting [Contreras] in the two-hole and pushing everybody back with KB out. Just trying to get a different look.” “You start to bunch all the lefties at the bottom [of the lineup] and it’s a real disadvantage at times when you feel like [you] know … how they’re gonna use their bullpen [late in games].” Injury update Infielder Matt Duffy (bulging disc) was with the Cubs on Wednesday in St. Louis after returning from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa. Duffy is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list on Thursday. Infielder David Bote (left separated shoulder) did not play in Iowa on Thursday with a scheduled day off, but will play on Thursday. Right-hander Rowan Wick (intercostal injury) struck out two batters in a scoreless inning for High-A South Bend on Wednesday.

Kris Bryant doing fine after leaving game with ‘heavy legs’ vs. Cardinals
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Bryant was not in the starting lineup Wednesday but was feeling good, according to manager David Ross.

ST. LOUIS — Social media was sent into a frenzy when Kris Bryant was removed from the Cubs’ 7-6 win Tuesday amid trade speculation. But the Cubs third baseman just left the game with right hamstring fatigue, easing the nerves of fans for the time being.

Bryant was out of the starting lineup Wednesday. But he was feeling good, according to manager David Ross, and was available to hit off the bench. Ross is trying to manage Bryant’s workload after his star did not have much of an All-Star break.

After talking with the trainers, Ross said taking Bryant out of the game to deal with “heavy legs” felt like the right thing to do.

“I just tried to listen to that and listen to him and the trainers. [It] didn’t make a lot of sense [to keep him in],” Ross said. “He told me before the game, the night before [he had] just some heavy legs. And I was mapping out a day off the next day and just didn’t want a real problem to arise.”

Ortega gets nod in leadoff spot

Rafael Ortega has opened eyes over the last few weeks, putting together some of the Cubs’ best at-bats. He led off Wednesday against the Cardinals, playing center field, with Willson Contreras hitting second.

Ortega has been a spark off the bench, going 5-for-12 in pinch-hit opportunities and hitting .364 with three doubles in July. While Ortega’s at-bats off the bench have provided a boost, Ross has been looking for opportunities to get him into the starting lineup. That has happened in three straight games.

“I was just looking for something different to kind of get the offense just rolling a little earlier. Trying to mix it up,” Ross said. “Putting [Contreras] in the two-hole and pushing everybody back with KB out. Just trying to get a different look.”

“You start to bunch all the lefties at the bottom [of the lineup] and it’s a real disadvantage at times when you feel like [you] know … how they’re gonna use their bullpen [late in games].”

Injury update

Infielder Matt Duffy (bulging disc) was with the Cubs on Wednesday in St. Louis after returning from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa. Duffy is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list on Thursday.

Infielder David Bote (left separated shoulder) did not play in Iowa on Thursday with a scheduled day off, but will play on Thursday. Right-hander Rowan Wick (intercostal injury) struck out two batters in a scoreless inning for High-A South Bend on Wednesday.