Kris Bryant has been diagnosed with a “moderate” sprain of his right ankle. He’s day-to-day, but given that there are only six games left in the Cubs’ season — not all of which may be meaningful — that’s sort of beside the point.
As you no doubt know, Bryant suffered the injured when he slipped on a wet first base bag during Sunday’s game, much to his agent’s chagrin. And much to the Cubs’ detriment.
The Cubs are four games out of the second Wild Card with two teams ahead of them and, as noted, six games left. If and when they’re eliminated, Bryant’s season will likely be over regardless of how his ankle feels. If he doesn’t play again this year, he’ll finish 2019 with a line of .282/.382/.521 with 31 homers and 77 RBI in 147 games.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”