Bryant DHing to get at-bats, rest shoulder

Bryant DHing to get at-bats, rest shoulder

MESA, Ariz. -- Top prospect Kris Bryant was in the Cubs' lineup Monday as the designated hitter and not at third base, in an effort to give his right shoulder more time to heal.

Bryant, who has not played third since Thursday because of shoulder fatigue, was to throw from 90 feet on Monday.

"We're taking it slow," Bryant said Monday. "There's no need to kill myself in Spring Training. I'd love to be back out on the field playing third base. We're just taking it slow. It's normal fatigue. I'm fine."

The shoulder hasn't affected his hitting. Bryant leads the Major Leagues with six home runs, belting two on Saturday. He did not play Sunday.

"It'll be good for me to get up there and get some at-bats," Bryant said. "I can always use those at-bats going into the season and [benefit from facing] big league pitching."

Manager Joe Maddon said Bryant would be the designated hitter on Tuesday when the Cubs play the Royals and he could possibly play Thursday.

"We'll see how it plays out," Maddon said.

Maddon also has mentioned that Bryant, who is 9-for-20 (.450) in eight games this spring, could play some outfield in Cactus League games.

"I'm a baseball player, so as long as I'm on the field playing, catching the ball, running down some fly balls, it'll be fun," said Bryant, who did play outfield in college.

Bryant's tender shoulder, however, may delay that plan. Bryant did not have a timetable as to when the Cubs would put him in the outfield.

"I think it's a position I can get used to pretty quick," he said. "There are a lot of plays at third base -- the bunt [defense], first-and-third defenses, and in the outfield you really have to worry about getting a good jump on the ball and hitting the cutoff man. I think I can catch on pretty quick."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.