Kris Bryant’s disappointing Rockies tenure has hit yet another speed bump, again a result of discomfort in the former MVP’s right foot. The outfielder — who missed the second half of his first season in Colorado last year due to plantar fasciitis issues — was placed on the 10-day IL on Thursday, June 1, with what’s being termed a heel bruise.
The Colorado Rockies announced today that they have reinstated outfielder Charlie Blackmon from the bereavement list and have placed outfielder Kris Bryant on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to May 31) with a left heel bruise.— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) June 1, 2023
Charlie Blackmon has been reinstated off the bereavement list in a corresponding move. Here’s the latest on the Rockies slugger and when he can be expected to return.
Kris Bryant injury update
June 16 Update — Bryant has joined the Rockies for their series on the road against the Atlanta Braves. He took batting practice on Thursday, and since his injury is largely just when he can feel comfortable, it remains to be seen when he will be able to return to the team officially.
The good news, if there is any, is that the current injury isn’t believed to have anything to do with last year’s plantar fasciitis — manager Bud Black said the bruise was primarily due to a string of games on artificial surfaces over the past week or two. Still, Bryant’s injury history is getting awfully long at this point, and considering he’s in just the second year of the seven-year, $182 million deal he signed with the Rockies in the winter of 2021, the team and its fans obviously have to be concerned about his inability to stay on the field.
They also have to be concerned about his performance at the plate when he is on the field. Bryant established himself as one of the game’s premier bats over his first five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, winning an MVP and a World Series while posting a healthy 137 OPS+. That number was down to 126 in his first year with the Rockies, but due to several stints on the IL, Bryant managed just 42 games, hitting only five home runs (none in Coors Field) while slugging .475 and posting just 0.4 WAR.
So far this season, things have gotten worse. Bryant was hitting for average early in the season, but that number is down to .263. He again only has five homers (this time in 50 games) while slugging an abysmal .374 — just about the only player in the league who hasn’t been helped by supposed hitter’s haven of Coors Field. There’s not yet a timetable for Bryant’s return to the lineup, but the Rockies have to hope that some time off can get him back looking like the player he used to be.