Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant suffered an apparent right ankle injury attempting to beat out a ground ball double play in the bottom of the third inning Sunday against the Cardinals. First base was wet from rain, so Bryant’s foot slid across the base, causing the injury. [Update: Per The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, Bryant has a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative.]
Bryant was 0-for-1 before exiting. Ian Happ took his place at third base. With the regular season nearly complete, Bryant is hitting .282/.382/.521 with 31 home runs, 77 RBI, and 108 runs scored in 634 plate appearances.
The floundering Cubs entered Sunday afternoon’s action on a five-game losing streak, leaving them three games behind the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.