Cubs' Kris Bryant Suffers Sprained Ankle vs. Cardinals; X-Rays Negative

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2019

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant against the San Francisco Giants during a baseball game in San Francisco, Monday, July 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant suffered a sprained ankle against the St. Louis Cardinals and was replaced by Ian Happ. X-rays were negative, per the team.

Bryant slipped on first base trying to beat out a double play and "went down hard," per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. He was helped off the field, and Happ entered the game.

Any physical setback to Bryant is going to raise concern in Chicago given his overall importance to the team’s postseason hopes and the fact shoulder injuries limited him to 102 games a season ago.

He struggled to replicate the player who won the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year and 2016 NL MVP and finished the 2018 campaign with a .272/.374/.460 slash line, 13 home runs and 52 RBI. The showing marked career lows for batting average, home runs and RBI, and his shoulder injury surely contributed to the disappointing numbers.

However, he has bounced back in 2019 with a .282/.381/.522 slash line, 31 home runs and 77 RBI, helping keep the Cubs in the National League Central race throughout the season with his formidable bat.

Bryant also brings valuable versatility to the table and can play third base, left field, right field and even first base if needed.

If Bryant is forced to miss significant time, it's difficult to envision the team making up ground in the Wild Card race. Entering Sunday, Chicago was three games back of the Milwaukee Brewers.