Maddon forming plans to rest Bryant, others

Maddon forming plans to rest Bryant, others

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has hinted that he has some ideas on the lineup in order to give some of the young players, like Kris Bryant, a breather now and then. Maddon met Thursday with Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein to go over some of the plans, but the manager wasn't ready to reveal anything until he had a chance to talk to the players.

Chris Coghlan, who has primarily started in left field, could be a part of it as he's been working out more at second and third base.

"[Maddon's] creativity enables us to have a lot of depth on the roster and he's really good at keeping everyone happy on the roster and really good at using everybody," Hoyer said. "He's good with a roster that has flexibility."

Bryant has said he doesn't need a breather but the rookie third baseman batted .168 in July.

"It's probably a combination of first time in the big leagues and really good pitching and making adjustments and also probably some fatigue, both mental and physical," Hoyer said of Bryant. "He'll snap out of it. We've seen Anthony [Rizzo] out of a swoon, we've seen Addison [Russell] come out of his struggles. Guys go through it and [Bryant] is going through it for the first time."

• The plan now is to keep infielder Javier Baez at Triple-A Iowa. Baez was batting .306 in 46 games, but he missed April following the death of his sister and then was sidelined after suffering a fractured finger.

"Right now, we're comfortable letting him play and keep getting better at Triple-A and find some normalcy for a season that's been weird for him," Hoyer said.

• Players know how hard it can be to get up for games when the team is out of the race, especially in August.

"When you win, I don't have a dog day," Coghlan said. "I've been on some losing teams and there's dog days. I don't have a dog day right now. ... If you win, I don't care how I feel, I just go out there and play."

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