During Thursday's contest against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant rolled his right ankle while rounding the bases. The team has diagnosed it as a mild ankle sprain and Bryant will undergo a precautionary MRI.
In a relatively innocuous-looking play going first-to-home on a double from Anthony Rizzo, Bryant never appeared to break stride and continued at full speed. Once the defensive half of the inning began, Bryant was substituted out of the game for Javier Baez.
Bryant has already been among the league's best players so far in 2016. By wRC+, he is hitting 24 percent better than the league average. In 91 plate appearances, Bryant has hit four home runs and six doubles, slashing .280/.352/.500. What makes Bryant even more dangerous this season is that he's even shown an ability to strike out less. At 19.8 percent, Bryant has improved by more than ten percentage points on last year's mark.
While the Cubs would certainly miss Bryant's production if there is something structurally unsound revealed by the MRI, there aren't very many teams that can boast their depth. Having Baez come off the bench shows the Cubs' true strength in what was predicted by many to be a very good season. Not only is their batting order among the best in the league, their bench depth appears to be second-to-none.
Having Baez may afford the Cubs to give Bryant a couple days off to make sure the ankle heals properly. While Baez still strikes out a lot, he's slugging .440 in his 25 plate appearances.
Bryant shouldn't be expected to miss much time based on what appeared to happen. However, the MRI should remove any doubt.