It was announced today that Kris Bryant is headed to the Colorado Rockies 10-day injured list after suffering a left heel bruise. The team also announced they are reinstating designated hitter Charlie Blackmon from the bereavement list.
Bryant, 31, signed a seven-year, $182 million contract with the Rockies just before the 2022 season. Since then, the deal has not lived up to the hype as the former 2016 NL MVP and four-time all-star has struggled with staying on the field due to injuries and is coming off a rough month of May in which he hit .225/.330/.315 and had a total of nine RBI's and two home runs.
Bryant has hit over 30 home runs just twice in his nine year career and was just one away from 40 in his 2016 NL MVP season.
Rockies fans are becoming increasingly restless as some view the Bryant signing as a disappointment. In the last two years, he has only played in a total of 92 games, fueling concerns about his injury-proneness. Nonetheless, it's still early in his contract, and Bryant has time to dispel these doubts. Since his arrival, he has only played in 42% of the team's games, which is a cause for concern. However, he has only missed eight games in the current 2023 season, and it's likely that they were just routine days off. We should prepare for this trend, which is becoming commonplace in the MLB.
Similar to the NBA, load management is becoming a common practice in baseball. With the season spanning 162 games, players are taking days off to prevent fatigue and injury. MLB athletes, like Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, are recognizing the importance of routine days off. Even though Trout has played in 54 out of 58 games this season, he is taking occasional breaks to keep his body in top shape. As the summer heats up, expect more players to follow suit and prioritize their health and well-being.
Bryant's absence from the lineup became very noticeable recently as he finally hit his first career home run in Coor's Field as a member of the Rockies this past April.
With Bryant, Rockies fans have to remember to just be patient with him as he has been one of the better hitters on the team and was even one of the best players they had last April. During that time, he was tied for first on the team with 26 hits. He also ended April with a .283 average and three home runs.
Although Bryant's injury may not have occurred at the most opportune moment for the Rockies, it's crucial to keep in mind that patience is necessary. He will undoubtedly be a crucial component in becoming the veteran leader and mentor that this clubhouse desperately needs as Colorado is having a youth movement in it's roster. Just yesterday, they put out a lineup that featured just three players over the age of 30 and started three different rookies.