Kris Bryant focuses on returning to baseball form during rehab stint

Kris Bryant has an off-season home in Las Vegas. He trains at the Las Vegas Ballpark during the winter.

Still, he said it was weird being in his hometown during baseball season.

“It’s kind of weird being here in the summer when I’m not supposed to be,” Bryant said. “My family being back in Colorado is weird, as is having the house empty by myself.”

The Bonanza High School graduate is back in Las Vegas on a rehab assignment with the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, in their six-game series against the Las Vegas Aviators.

Bryant, who signed with the Rockies to a seven-year, $182 million deal last offseason, has played 17 games this season while battling a back injury.

After going six innings to left field Tuesday night in his first rehab start, Bryant said he felt a little sore, but admitted that was expected. Bryant focused on making his body feel good to be part of the Rockies’ daily training.

“Getting back to baseball shape is the hardest thing,” Bryant said. “Holding out in the outfield for three hours, you can’t really train for that.”

In Triple-A, Bryant gained first-hand experience of rule changes installed before the start of the season that could be implemented in the major leagues in the near future.

Bryant called the move to larger bases a “no-brainer,” citing player safety as why the move would be good for MLB. He doesn’t care about the pitch clock, even though she doesn’t use it when he’s at bat because he’s on an MLB rehab assignment.

As for the automated ball and strike system, Bryant is hesitant to endorse it for the majors.

“I think it would be beneficial, but I don’t think it should be fully approved in the major leagues yet,” he said.

Based on his observations and interviews with his Albuquerque teammates, Bryant feels there is still some ambiguity since ABS adds an extra inch to either side of the strike zone. But he hopes the issues will be resolved in time before he is used in MLB.

As for the lingering rumors that his hometown lands a big league team, Bryant is confident the city can back a team. He cited the success of the Raiders and Golden Knights as why Las Vegas would be a perfect fit for MLB.

If a big league team decided to call Las Vegas home, Bryant said there would have to be a condition.

“(The stadium) has to be indoors,” he said. “It gets a little hot here in the summer.”

Contact Alex Wright at [email protected] Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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