The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports -

Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoul­der) said there’s no timetable for his re­turn, but he is “to­tally con­fi­dent” he will play again this sea­son. He is tak­ing ground balls and “stages of” dry swings with­out a base­ball.

“It’s go­ing slow, but that seems to be the smart thing to do,” he said.

Bryant, 26, has been side­lined since July 24. He be­lieves his shoul­der has been ad­versely af­fected by tak­ing too many “vi­o­lent” swings in pregame work.

Mariners: Felix Her­nan­dez vowed his first-ever stint in Seat­tle’s bullpen won’t last long.

“I’ll be a starter be­fore the end of the year,” he said. “No ques­tion about it.”

The strug­gling Mariners ace has made 398 ca­reer starts in 14 sea­sons, never once pitch­ing in re­lief. He was bumped from the rotation Thurs­day night, the lat­est set­back in a tough year in which he has a ca­reer-high 5.73 ERA and is 0-4 in his last five starts.

In­di­ans: DH/1B Ed­win En­car­na­cion was ex­am­ined be­cause of dis­com­fort in his left bi­ceps, and man­ager Terry Fran­cona said the club was await­ing MRI re­sults be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion on whether to put him on the 10-day DL. En­car­na­cion, 35, has strug­gled since be­ing hit by a pitch on the right hand be­fore the All-Star break.

Rock­ies: 3B Nolan Are­nado (right shoul­der strain) was kept out of the lineup Satur­day against the Dodgers, but Colorado re­mains hope­ful he’ll avoid a DL stint. Man­ager Bud Black said Are­nado would con­tinue to be avail­able to pinch hit.

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