Cubs' Ross wants Bryant back, regardless of stat line
There's no question in David Ross' mind, he wants Kris Bryant in his playoff lineup.
"I think it's important to be able to stick a former MVP in your lineup," Ross said Friday. "I think it carries a lot of weight, no matter what their numbers are. There's a presence there. There's a confidence there from our side, there's a fear from the other side."
Bryant has been sidelined with an oblique strain since early in Monday's game at Pittsburgh. He's also hitting just .195 this season, but things are trending toward a return to the lineup.
"He hit in the cage today, felt a little better. Is going to take some ground balls out on the field," Ross said. "The good news was he hit in the cage pain-free. I don't know how hard he swung. But it was good that he was able to do the things he did today so far."
Ross wouldn't commit to playing Bryant during this weekend series with the White Sox, saying he'll wait to hear that the third baseman is healthy first.
Ross ready for heat:
Since White Sox manager Ricky Renteria took some heat for his bullpen decisions, Cubs skipper David Ross was asked about taking criticism during his first season on the job.
"They hired me for a reason. I'm going to come in here, I'm going to be me, try to do the best I can," Ross said. "I'm not perfect, I don't think Ricky thinks he's perfect. It's a hard job. There's a lot of things going on with it.
"We're blessed to have this job. I'm blessed to be a part of this organization. I'm going to mess up. The best thing to do is to try to learn from your mistakes, same things I ask my players to do. I tell my players when I mess up, I tell my coaches when I mess up. They know. Everybody in the room knows when you make mistakes."
Cubs add infield help:
Jose Martinez, 0-for-21 at the plate since joining the Cubs, went back to South Bend on Friday, while infielder Patrick Wisdom joined the active roster.
Manager David Ross said the main reason Wisdom was brought up was because David Bote had an unspecified health issue that made him unavailable Friday, and with Kris Bryant already out, the Cubs needed an extra fielder.
"Bote had kind of a flare come up with his stuff. Sounds like he's fine," Ross said.
Ross also said Adbert Alzolay will start Sunday's season finale. He wants to give Jose Quintana some practice coming out of the bullpen, since he's still building up endurance. Alzolay may have the edge if the Cubs need a fifth starter in the playoffs.