Cubs manager Joe Maddon prefers Bryant, Rizzo skip Home Run Derby
"You'd probably always prefer that they don't [participate]," Maddon said, according to MLB.com. "I'm not going to tell them not to. They're big boys."
This year's Derby participants have not yet been announced, but both first baseman Rizzo and third baseman Bryant could be candidates.
Rizzo leads the Cubs with 15 home runs, and Bryant is second on the team with 12. Both players will participate in the All-Star Game on July 14, and Bryant said on Monday he would be willing to take part in the Derby.
Maddon has previously expressed his distaste for too much batting practice, saying it can cause hitters to lose feel for their swings.
“Too many times batting practice develops into a Home Run Derby, which really becomes useless or counterproductive," Maddon told MLB.com in May.
Bryant said in June that participating in the Double A home run derby last season did not change his swing.
“I think that’s all a myth that some people like talking about,” he said, according to ESPN.
This year's Home Run Derby will be held under a new format, in which hitters will be timed as they face off head-to-head in a single-elimination bracket. Seeding will be determined by home run totals as of Tuesday.
Rizzo and Bryant are currently ranked 22nd and 47th in MLB, respectively.
The Home Run Derby will be held on July 13 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, with the All-Star Game to follow on July 14.
- Erin Flynn