ROCKIES

Rockies place $182 million man on injured list for seventh time

Jun 6, 2024, 2:11 PM | Updated: 2:13 pm

Former National League MVP Kris Bryant is back on the injured list, where he’s spent more time during his Colorado Rockies tenure than he has on the active roster.

Bryant didn’t play in the Reds sweep of the Rockies, last appearing on Sunday. He’s now again on the shelf this time with a left rib issue after he just came back from a back problem that has plagued him for years. That back injury had held Bryant to playing in just 24 of 61 games so far this season.

“Hopefully this will resolve itself, relatively quick,” Bud Black said on Wednesday. “And hopefully get some momentum performance-wise to where we see the real Kris Bryant.”

Bryant signed a seven-year, $182-million contract to play for the Rockies ahead of the 2022 season and has missed 239 of a possible 385 games since coming to Colorado. This is his seventh separate trip to the injured list, dealing with foot and back injuries most notably.

Bryant played in just 10 games between injury list stints and is now hitting .186 on the season with just four extra-base hits in 101 plate appearances. As a Rockie, Bryant has slashed an awful .247/.331/.385 with 17 homers and 55 RBI in 146 games of action, primarily as an outfielder but this season as a planned first baseman.

Since joining the Rockies, Bryant has been 10th-worst in MLB with a -1.1 fWAR. Funny enough, the worst player in baseball during that timeframe according to the metric that’s still active is Rockie who plays all the positions Bryant does—Elehuris Montero. The younger and worse should-be slugger has been worth a -1.9 fWAR since the start of 2022. The only position player to sign a larger free agent deal the same winter as Bryant was Corey Seager at 10 years for $325 million and he’s been worth 12.2 fWAR, 15th-best in baseball, and brought the Rangers World Series rings.

Bryant wasn’t alone in hitting the injury list as 28-year-old outfielder Sean Bouchard is also hurt. He left Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury that occurred when he collided with a Reds player at first base.

On Thursday, the Rockies recalled utility players Greg Jones and Michael Toglia from Triple-A Albuquerque. Jones will likely make his MLB debut in the coming days. Jones was picked up in a trade during spring training that sent regarded pitching prospect Joe Rock to Tampa Bay. Now 26, Jones was the No. 22 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft and has struggled in the upper minors. He spent about a month injured this year and has played 20 games for the Isotopes, getting 89 plate appearances, slashing .240/.360/.387 with a nice 12.4% walk rate but a poor 28.1% strikeout rate. Those numbers fall in line with much of his minor-league career, though he seemed to be on the cusp of a breakout at times last summer. Still, the story for the young player is strikeouts and injuries.

With youngster Jordan Beck already injured, back comes Toglia instead of Nolan Jones who is nearing a return from his injury rehab. Nolan Jones has been out since the end of April, fighting a back injury which was the cherry on top of a poor start to his sophomore season. Toglia hit four homers for the Rockies early this season but also has hit just .149 in the majors over the past two seasons with 201 plate appearances.

The Rockies are in St. Louis, where they’ll try to get back to their winning ways after falling to 21-40 early this week. They still have 101 games to play. The good news? Pitching help appears to be close to coming back.

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