DENVER — After playing in just 42 games last season and 50 games so far in 2023, the timetable for Kris Bryant to return to the Colorado Rockies lineup remains fuzzy according to manager Bud Black.
Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant’s timeline to return from injury remains in flux
Bryant, who signed a seven-year, $182 million deal with the Rockies prior to the 2022 campaign, remains on the injured list with a left heel bruise. Placed on the injured list on June 1 (retroactive to May 31), the 31-year-old Bryant does not currently have a timeline to return, Black told reporters prior to Saturday’s home game against the San Diego Padres.
“Kris is feeling a little better. The heel is improving,” Black said. “No timetable (for return). He’s getting closer to some baseball activities.”
So far this season, Bryant is slashing .263/.346/.374 with five homers and 17 RBI, helping him to an OPS+ of 87 and a bWAR of minus-0.4.
Bryant started the season hot at the plate, slashing .297/.360/.426 in 111 plate appearances over 26 games in March and April. However, as the calendar turned to May, Bryant’s productivity tailed off, recording a .225/.330/.315 slash line in 103 plate appearances over 24 games.
In an injury update earlier in the week, Black told reporters that Bryant’s heel was improving and his foot issues were in no way connected to the plantar fasciitis that limited his productivity in 2022. However, this new injury is certainly causing the Rockies to be without one of the cornerstones of their lineup past the 10-day window when Bryant was placed on the injured list.
Prior to the season, Bryant made the switch from left to right field in order to help reduce some of the ground in the spacious Coors Field outfield that Bryant would need to cover. He has started 37 games in right field this season for Colorado, the most of any player. In his absence, Randal Grichuk and Nolan Jones have drawn the majority of the starts in right field.