Bryant enters Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Dodgers with an 8-for-29 mark (.276 average) at the plate during spring training. Bryant has also drawn four walks and has been plunked three times, lifting his spring on-base average to .417. That OBA isn't too far above the level he's managed through his four big-league seasons and suggests he would be an excellent option atop the lineup if manager Joe Maddon tires of taking a matchup-based approach to the top of the order. Maddon appears to be inclined to stick with the status quo to begin the regular season, per Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago, putting Bryant on track to occupy the No. 2 spot in front of co-star Anthony Rizzo.
Bryant went 2-for-2 with a three-run home run, a walk and three runs scored in Sunday's Cactus League win over the White Sox. That's now two home runs in nine at-bats so far this spring for Bryant to go along with a 1.726 OPS. The 27-year-old dealt with injuries in a down 2018 campaign, but if early returns are any indication, Bryant could get back to playing at an MVP level in 2019.
Bryant went 2-for-2 with a home run in his spring debut in Saturday's win over the Brewers. Bryant has scrapped the two-handed swing that he used last summer to alleviate discomfort in his left shoulder, MLB.com reports. Bryant hit a home run in his first at-bat, which should help alleviate concerns about the sore left shoulder that limited him last season. It looks like he's back to full strength, but we'll need to watch how his shoulder holds up with regular playing time again.
Bryant (shoulder) has been taking batting practice since Dec. 1 and his shoulder is at full strength, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Bryant played a season-low 102 games in 2018 after dealing with a shoulder issue for a good portion of the season. He's emphasized that his shoulder is completely healthy and that he won't face any restrictions in spring training, however.
Bryant and the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $12.9 million contract Friday, avoiding an arbitration hearing, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Bryant will earn a relatively small raise for a player of his stature after making $10.85 million last season. He didn't have a great case for a bigger contract after a shoulder issue limited him to just 13 homers and a career-low 125 wRC+ in 102 games.
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