UPDATE: April 18, 2915 6:00 am PT
In his Major League debut people expected home runs from 23-year-old Kris Bryant. What they got was him going 0-4 with three strikeouts. He left five men on base in the Chicago Cubs’ 5-4 loss to the San Diego Padres. Some fans were unhappy and one even shouted “you suck.”
However, Bryant made some brilliant defensive plays at third base. Not to mention that he had flown in Friday morning and arrived on the field once the rest of the team as already out there.
Plus, there was the build-up after his amazing spring performance, the controversy over him starting the season in the minor leagues and the pressure to perform in his first major league game. People were expecting the spring training Bryant, not the tired, likely overwhelmed Bryant.
When Jorge Soler and Javier Baez hit home runs in their first games in the big leagues there were no expectations. There was no real pressure, at least not the kind that Bryant was facing.
It’s only a matter of time until Bryant starts hitting for power the way we all know he can.
UPDATE: April 17, 2015 9:15 am PT
Just a little more information on Kris Bryant‘s debut. Accordingto reports he will be batting cleanup in his debut which is quite, sometimes one would say and honor, nervewracking for a rookie making his big league debut, especially among all the fan fare.
The baseball world has been waiting for Bryant’s debut since last summer but even moreso since he lead all players in home runs during spring training. The Cubs kept him in the minors for business reasons (that are explained in the original text) and now the time has come.
Another interesting coincidence is that one of baseball’s most legendary athletes made his big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on this day in 1955. His name? Roberto Clemente. He was a great humanitarian and amazing ballplayer. That’s just another little fact that Bryant, doesn’t necessarily have to live up to – as no one can live up to the great Clemente – but one that will not go easily ignored.
Bryant will take the field at Wrigley for the first time at 12:20 pm Eastern.
Original Text: April 16, 2015 7:20pm PT
Well the day everyone has been waiting for is nearly here. According to MLB Network and multiple other sources Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant will finally make his Major League Baseball debut on Friday at Wrigley Field when the Cubs take on the San Diego Padres.
If you are not familiar with the controvery over Bryant then here’s the short version. Bryant earned a spot on the Cubs’ roster this spring leading both the Cactus and Grapefruit League in home runs with nine. He played stellar defense at third and even began learning to play left field.
The Cubs however did not put Bryant on the Opening Day roster, much to the dismay of baseball fans everywhere. The reason? Well, it was all business and while I do not agree with the Cubs not putting Bryant on the roster, I do understand at the end of the day baseball is a business.
In this case the if the Cubs kept Bryant in the minors for just 12 days, it would keep him from becoming eligible for free agency for an entire extra year. He wouldn’t have enough service time. Understandably the Cubs want to keep the 23-year-old phenom as long as possible for as little money as possible. They made a business decision. We may not like it but it’s logical.
The good news now is that those 12 days are now over. Bryant has been playing at Triple-A Iowa and he’s been playing quite well. Bryant is 9-28 with a .321 batting average, three home runs, 10 RBI and just nine strikeouts.
He’ll make his debut tomorrow against Padres’ ace James Shields. Jason Hammel will be on the mound for the Cubs. It should be an exciting game regardless of who wins, as long as Bryant goes deep off of Shields and for that to happen, the odds seem to be in Bryant’s favor!
Best of luck to Bryant tomorrow! It is about effing time he made his debut. The Cubs opted not to call him up last September when fellow prospects Jorge Soler and Javier Baez were up and hitting their first big league home runs. Now it’s Kris Bryants turn!