As he rehabs his shoulder – and signing plenty of autographs – Kris Bryant gets work done in Iowa

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Kris Bryant takes batting practice during a rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa on August 28th.

DES MOINES – There was a time when he was one of those on the roster looking to make the dream come true.

But three years have changed quite a bit for the player who donned the No. 33 jersey for Iowa Cubs this week, first in Omaha and then in Des Moines.

One picture of Kris Bryant describes it all.

The Cubs third baseman hasn’t been shy about putting his pen to paper, baseballs, jerseys, or anything else that fans have for him to sign. Last with the Triple-A team in 2015, the now All-Star and 2016 National League Most Valuable Player brings a healthy amount of star power to the end of the Iowa Cubs’ season.

“There is definitely a balance between it, I have a routine that I keep to,” said Bryant to WHO-TV of balancing his autograph time with his work on the field. “I always try to take care of the fans, especially here (Des Moines). There are a lot of Cubs’ fans that live out here and people that I’d love to take care of. But the worst part is, it’s tough to take care of everybody but I certainly wish I could.”

Still his efforts are quite noble, especially considering the important work that needs to be done during his time in Triple-A to make sure he’s ready to help the big league club’s run for a fourth-straight postseason berth.

Left shoulder inflammation has put Bryant on the disabled list twice during the 2018 season, and his latest battle with the ailment has put him out of the lineup since July 22nd. The third baseman worked out in Chicago with team athletic trainers for the few weeks after the injury, then headed to Iowa where he’s started the last two games and is in the lineup at third for Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City.

The expectation is that Bryant – who is batting .276 with 11 homers and 44 RBI – will return to the lineup sooner than later as the Cubs try to hold off the Brewers and Cardinals for the NL Central title. He continues to follow a routing of rehabilitation that’s reminiscent of the players on the mound in hopes of getting him back to the hot corner at Wrigley Field.

“It’s essentially like a pitcher’s shoulder program in terms of lifting weights and icing and stuff like that, which is something that the trainer’s do all too often with the pitchers,” said Bryant of his work the last month. “I’m kinda just following a program like that and been doing that for the past month and it feels a lot stronger.”

In the meantime, let the rehab starts and impromptu autograph sessions continue.


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