-Cubs GM Theo Epstein will not allow prospect Kris Bryant to start his Major League Baseball career Sunday April 5th in the Cubs season opener. Instead he prefers that the most anticipated incoming player to the majors in a while begin the season on the farm.
No matter that Bryant has hit .406 with nine home runs in 32 at-bats this spring training. Epstein has a rule and he’s sticking to it.
During a telecast Thursday Curt Schilling asked Epstein (h/t hardballtalk.nbc.com ) if he could honestly say that he was breaking camp with his 25 best players if he left Bryant off the roster. You can view the conversation in the video posted below.
I’ve never put a guy on an Opening Day roster who hadn’t played in the big leagues previously. In 13 years, I’ve never done it,” Epstein told ESPN. “I’m not saying I’d never do it, but the general rule, the presumption, is to allow those guys to go out, play, get comfortable, get in rhythm and come up when you handpick just the right moment for them to have success.”
From everything we’ve all read, heard from the experts and have now witnessed, Bryant is as close to a sure thing as there is.
Bryant is noted for his maturity beyond both his years and talent but to his credit isn’t exactly thrilled about the improbable decision. He told ESPN Friday, “I look at it as ‘Why not me?'”
“I think I’m the type of guy that can go out there and do it,” Bryant said. “I’ve made it a point of mine to come out here and show them that I can.”
Bryant’s agent, the legendary Scott Boras said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show that Major League Baseball is broken if Bryant doesn’t start the season with the big league squad.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times:
“I think the integrity of the game requires that we do not let advantages to individual clubs get in the way of the overall scope of what Major League Baseball stands for,” Boras said. “It’s the principle. The best players play in the big leagues. … [Fans] know the team is not whole because one of their best talents is not on the team because of business practices. I don’t think that’s good for Major League Baseball.”
What it will come down to is if Bryant is called up performs well and smashes the cover off the baseball then Epstein is a genius. If Bryant struggles or does not live up to the hype Epstein may take a share of the blame right or wrong.