BUST! Kris Bryant has struck out in his first three at bats in his big league debut

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Sorry. Been a lot of hyperbole today, so I figured I could add to it to.

But do know that Kris Bryant has finally played in a major league game. It’s not an official game yet — we’re only in the second inning — but he’s seen pitches thrown in anger in the big leagues.

In the top of the first Bryant got his first defensive chance, turning a 5-4-3 double play and lookin’ pretty good doing it. Then, in the bottom of the first, he came to bat with two outs and Anthony Rizzo on first. The cameras panned to Scott Boras and Bryant’s dad in the crowd and several thousand cameras took several thousand pictures. The Future of the Franchise stepped in against Big Game James Shields.

Bryant saw three pitches from Shields. He swung at all three of them, tipping the first one into the catcher’s glove and whiffing on the next two. Watch the at bat here.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

UPDATE: Second step: his second at bat, this in the fourth. First pitch: watched a called strike. Second: hard foul into the dugout. Third: foul to the same place, again, way ahead of the pitch. Fourth: the first ball he ever took as a major leaguer, in the dirt. Another ball low to make it 2-2. He worked the count full on a fastball outside, then  . . .  struck out swinging on a James Shields changeup, which has been fooling everyone today.

You know, for a guy who can hack a bit and who is likely filled with adrenaline today, going up against James Shields and that changeup is pretty unfair.

UPDATE: The top of the fifth just ended when Bryant made a pretty spiffy diving stab of a liner off the bat of Derek Norris for out number three. The bat is still quiet, but the leather is looking good. Thank goodness Bryant had those extra two weeks in the minors to work on that defense.

UPDATE: Bryant came up again with one out in the bottom of the fifth and runners on second and third, Cubs up 4-2. Swing and a miss on the first pitch. A ball nowhere near the zone. He then laid off a fastball super inside. Then he fouled one back to make it 1-2. Then he struck out on a ball low and away. James Shields is toying with the kid in his debut.

UPDATE: Four his fourth at bat, Bryant came up with two on and two out and grounded into fielder’s choice to third. Hey, contact!

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.