Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant left Chicago's game against the Pirates on Monday with right oblique tightness, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic was among those to report. The Cubs replaced Bryant with David Bote.
Any oblique issue to a regular is a red flag for a team, especially for a 31-22 Cubs club leading the NL Central by 3 1/2 games and nearing a playoff berth. It remains to be seen whether Bryant will play again this year, but it’s especially troubling that the three-time All-Star and former MVP hasn’t come anywhere close to his usual form this season. Bryant is hitting a woeful .195/.283/.301 with two home runs and a career-worst .106 ISO in 138 plate appearances.
Despite Bryant's uncharacteristic struggles this year, the Cubs obviously still want him in their lineup on a daily basis. They’re on their way to the playoffs, after all, but however the postseason goes, the Cubs will have to decide in the offseason whether to keep Bryant, who was the subject of trade rumors last winter. He’s making a prorated $18.6 million in 2020 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the ’21 campaign