Kris Bryant spoke publicly yesterday for the first time since being sent to minor league camp on Monday. And even though it has been a few days, it doesn’t sound like he’s too happy about the decision.
“I don’t want to say I’m mad or anything, I’m just extremely disappointed,” Bryant told Jess Rogers on Thursday. “I wanted my performance to matter, and to me it felt like it didn’t matter as much as I thought it would.”
Bryant went on to say how he ultimately will be motivated by the move to play even better, and remained professional (as always), but you can tell he’s clearly ticked off.
I don’t know why, but I guess all this time I figured Bryant was hip to the Cubs’ plan. Couple of weeks in the minors, no big deal, right?
Well it’s apparent now that Bryant really felt he had a chance to make the team out of Spring Training. He definitely couldn’t have performed better, so I can understand his frustration.
I don’t think Bryant will let this affect his play down the road. Once he gets to Chicago, I’m sure he’ll put this behind him.
But I kind of doubt he’s going to be interested in signing an extension anytime soon. That may never have happened anyway — it’s a big reason why the extra year of control is so important to the Cubs’ front office.
If he helps the Cubs win a World Series, though? Maybe that’ll change his mind — but I’m probably getting ahead of myself.
Meanwhile, this quote is pretty great to dream about: “I’m excited to see what comes out of me with this motivation. I’ve never been in this situation before. Maybe my game will go to another level.”
Is there really another level for him to reach at this point? I’d like to see it.
Back in 2012, the Cubs traded classic flip candidate Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta for RHP Arodys Vizcaino — a top Braves prospect at the time.
Vizcaino was injured and didn’t actually pitch at all for the Cubs’ organization until last year, working his way from Daytona to Tennessee to Iowa. He was called up to the Big Leagues in September and appeared in five games out of the bullpen for the Cubs.
It looked as though Vizcaino would be in contention for a bullpen spot this year, but in a somewhat surprising move, the Cubs shipped him back to Atlanta. In return came infielder Tommy La Stella.
The Cubs are looking like they’ll be coming out on top of these dealings, as Jeff Passan reports that Vizcaino has been suspended for 80 games due to PEDs.
Although I was a tad confused by the La Stella trade at the time — thinking Baez would be playing second base with Luis Valbuena as a backup — it’s looking pretty shrewd at the moment.
* The Cubs were off yesterday, but some familiar faces appeared in a minor league game. Jake Arrieta went five strong innings and Kris Bryant was clearly on a mission — he homered and hit an RBI single.
* Tsuyoshi Wada also made an appearance in a Double-A game, striking out seven over three. Wada, who was a rotation hopeful at the start of spring, has been battling leg injuries all spring, so it’s good to hear that he’s doing better. Also in that game, according to the Cub Reporter, OF Albert Almora left with a right knee injury.
* According to Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have signed LHP Felix Doubront to a minor league deal. The Cubs released Doubront last weekend.