Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant has been out for the vast majority of the 2022 season due to injuries. Currently, he is on the injured list with plantar fasciitis and he has been since July 31.
Rockies manager Bud Black was asked about Bryant’s status by the media before Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field and Black did not sound too optimistic about it happening.
Bud Black on Kris Bryant returning to the Rockies in 2022
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen but we’re hoping,” Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told the media, including Rox Pile, about Bryant’s return.
With less than four weeks left in the season, the chance that Bryant returns before the season ends is dwindling by the day but it doesn’t sound like Bryant will return this season.
In 2022, the Rockies have been better when Bryant is on the field. In the 42 games he has played this year, the club has gone 20-22 in those games. But it is not the worst thing in the world if he doesn’t return this year.
With the Rockies’ shot at the postseason at zero, the Rockies can let Bryant get fully healthy for the 2023 season. In the meantime, the Rockies can use the roster spot for someone else and see how they can play at the MLB level.
For example, if Bryant was on the injured list, Michael Toglia might not be in the majors right now. Toglia (who started the season at Double-A Hartford) is hitting .278/.333/.583 in 10 games (39 plate appearances). His 138 OPS+ is the highest among any player on the Rockies this season.
Bryant, for his part, hit .306/.376/.475 in his 42 games with an OPS+ of 126. That’s his highest OPS+ in a season since 2019, when he was an All-Star.
Regardless of whether or not he returns next year, the Rockies have to have a healthy Kris Bryant in their lineup and they have to have more production in their lineup. There are 11 players on the Rockies that have at least 200 plate appearances this year (Bryant is just short at 181). Only two of those 11 (Yonathan Daza at 100 and C.J. Cron at 111) have an OPS+ of league average or better.
Only having one hitter above league average is not exactly a recipe for success so it will likely be an issue that the club will address this offseason.