In the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s Cubs game against the Braves in Atlanta, while Ian Happ was at bat and Kris Bryant on second base after a double, a pitch from R.A. Dickey briefly got away from Braves catcher Tyler Flowers.
Bryant took off for third, but the ball didn’t get far away from Flowers and Flowers threw Bryant out.
That play would normally not require an article to be written, but watch Bryant’s left hand:
Uh oh... pic.twitter.com/x1EpfckQSy— CSN Chicago (@CSNChicago) July 19, 2017
Bryant was on the ground for a bit and appeared to be in pain. Here’s a closeup of the fingers on that hand:
Appears to be checking what looks like ring finger or middle finger on left hand. Here's the freeze frame of Kris Bryant from @CSNChicago pic.twitter.com/N2J45mZG69— Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer) July 19, 2017
Here’s a few more looks at the play:
Kris Bryant exits the game in the 1st inning after injuring his hand on a slide into third base pic.twitter.com/YtHUKKBbEy— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 19, 2017
If this all sounds familiar, check out the headline of this August 2015 story. Bryant said after that headfirst slide that he wasn’t going to do them anymore.
He didn’t miss any time after that 2015 slide, and according to the Cubs he might not with this injury either:
Kris Bryant left the game with a sprained left pinky. X-rays were negative. He is day-to-day.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 19, 2017
At first, the injury looked like it was to the ring finger, but apparently it was the pinky that caught third baseman Johan Camargo’s foot. The good news is that X-rays were negative, so no break; a sprained pinky isn’t great, but with Thursday’s off day it’s even possible Bryant could be able to play again on Friday, or if not, then sometime over the weekend.
In the meantime, the Cubs can cover the position with Javier Baez, with Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist splitting second base. It might wind up with more playing time for Albert Almora Jr. while Bryant is out.
So you can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief. It’s never good to see your star player injured, but this doesn’t seem too bad.
And I’ll bet Bryant won’t ever slide headfirst again.