Bryant's versatility ends with Rock, Paper, Scissors

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant scores on a single hit by Joc Pederson against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant scores on a single hit by Joc Pederson against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/25/2021 8:25 PM

A topic of conversation before Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh was the difference between playing third base and the outfield.

Kris Bryant has been at third base for most of his career, but has played almost exclusively in the outfield for the past month. His last start at third base was on April 20.

 

Anyway, a third baseman needs to be locked in on every pitch, because the ball could be coming at him at 110 mph at any time. The outfield is very different, needless to say.

"It's really something," Bryant said. "You get to different cities and you hear certain things in the outfield, and then there's always a bunch of kids out there and just want a wave or something. It's just a completely different game than third base is. I'm really appreciating it.

"In St. Louis, I think at the end of the first game, there were a couple kids that just wanted to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Best out of three and they smoked me."

Pressed for more details, Bryant revealed his strategy.

"I went paper twice and he went scissors twice," Bryant said with a laugh. "I thought I could outsmart a 10-year-old, but I got played. Can't beat them, they do this all day."

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Bryant said he brings four gloves on the road with him. He mostly plays the outfield, but has filled in at first base a couple of times and returning to third base is always a possibility, especially now that Matt Duffy is on the injured list and Nico Hoerner will almost certainly be joining him after leaving Tuesday's game with an apparent hamstring injury.

"I really do enjoy it. I think it's important to show off your versatility," Bryant said. "One thing I've noticed is at third base, after the games, I feel really exhausted because you're so close to the ball, you're bending down 200 pitches a game in the ready position. And in the outfield, you're a little more upright, you save your legs a little bit.

"That's something I'm really noticing in terms of me feeling fresh. But when you are in the first base dugout and you have to run all the way to left field twice an inning, nine times a game, that's a long run. So I let Rossy know, 'Hey, let me play the corner that's closer to the dugout.'"

Bryant doesn't think playing the outfield has anything to do with him getting off to a good start at the plate. But he is happy exercising his versatility.

"I watched Ben Zobrist do it and he did it so well too," Bryant said. "It was just like, 'I want to be like that too.' I don't want to just be a one-dimensional player. That's something I would teach any kid out there too. Pride yourself in being able to play all the positions that you can."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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