Chicago Cubs' Bryant confident he will be back this season

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, out with a shoulder ailment, has been taking swings off a tee as he works to get back in the lineup.

    Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, out with a shoulder ailment, has been taking swings off a tee as he works to get back in the lineup.

 
 
Updated 8/11/2018 8:15 PM

The progress has been slow, but Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant insists he's confident he will contribute again this season.

"I feel confident," he said. "It would be pretty silly if I wasn't, in my mind. I'm totally confident I'll be back."

 

Bryant has been on the 10-day disabled list, effective July 24, with left-shoulder inflammation. It's his second stint on the DL this season for that ailment.

He met with reporters Saturday morning at Wrigley Field after taking groundballs. He also has progressed, if slowly, with swinging a bat.

"Beginning stages of some dry swings in a tee progression," he said. "Still kind of going a little slow, but that seems to be the smart thing to do. Nothing super crazy, but it's nice to pick up a bat."

Bryant added there is no timetable for his return.

"I'm the one who's asking, 'What do you think, what do you think?' " he said. "But our trainers are telling me they don't want to put a time on it. I think everything is going in the right direction and things are working. So that makes me excited."

Bryant said he has learned to alter his routine

"I think where the problems started from was I was taking more gamelike swings in the cage, in BP (batting practice), off the machines, just continuing to do that," he said. "In the game, you're really only taking maybe five to 10 swings a day at that intensity, whereas in the cage you kind of slow things down and work on just taking it nice and easy. I really practiced at half speed, and I think that I got a little away from that.

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"The plan going forward is to practice a little slower in the cage and in batting practice so that you have more in the game. It's good for me to realize you can't keep going every day and swinging and swinging and swinging."

Not so fast for Smyly:

Left-hander Drew Smyly's progress has slowed as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The Cubs signed Smyly to a two-year contract in the off-season, with an eye toward 2019. If they were to get anything this year, that would be a bonus.

That may not happen as Smyly has felt soreness on days after he throws.

"This is the hardest part for me," he said. "You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I'm on the mound, I feel great and healthy. Then you wake up the next day still sore from it. So it's just like maintaining that hope with still not rushing it and just taking it slow.

"It's obviously frustration because I feel so close. I'm just champing at the bit to get out there. It's excitement too because we go out there and we expect to win every day."

The season may wind down before Smyly can get into a major-league game.

"It'll come in good time," he said. "I'm very hopeful that it will be this year still. If it's not, it will be next year. I signed a two-year deal here. I'm just excited to pitch for the Cubs."

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