Rockies activate outfielder Kris Bryant from injured list

Injured Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant looks on from the dugout in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies activated outfielder Kris Bryant from the injured list on Monday and designated Cole Tucker for assignment.

Bryant is batting fourth and playing first base in Monday’s opener of a three-game series against his old team, the Chicago Cubs. It is the first time Bryant will play first base in his Rockies career.

“He wants to play, so he’ll play a lot,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “He’ll get a day here and there because we want other guys to play as well. There are a number of guys we want to see play.”

Bryant was placed on the injured list on July 25, three days after he suffered a fractured left index finger when he was hit by a pitch by Miami Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto.

He had missed a month earlier in the season with a left heel bruise.

Bryant won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the NL MVP in 2016 when he helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants in 2021 and signed a seven year, $182 million free agent contract with Colorado before the 2022 season.

He will be a veteran presence for a young lineup.

“If he does his thing it takes pressure off the other guys,” Black said. “If they watch, if KB’s on, they’ll see the at-bat with good strike zone discipline, swing at strikes, take balls, take the walk if the pitcher is not throwing strikes. If they see a guy like Kris, a former MVP, a former Rookie of the Year take those types of at-bats it does rub off on the players.”

Injuries have limited Bryant in his time with the Rockies. He played in just 42 games last year and only 65 this season. He is hitting .273 with 13 home runs in his two seasons with Colorado.