Thumb things are bet­ter left un­said

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY STEVE GREEN­BERG, STAFF RE­PORTER sgreen­berg@sun­times.com | @SLGreen­berg

Cubs start­ing pitcher Jose Quin­tana got the stitches re­moved from his left thumb Wed­nes­day. A day later, he played catch at Wrigley Field, his first time throw­ing the ball since slic­ing a nerve while wash­ing dishes late last month — an in­jury that re­quired surgery.

“It was all smiles from him, which was nice,” man­ager David Ross said.

Nice, in­deed, but will Quin­tana be on the mound in a game any­time soon?

“It’s a dif­fi­cult thing to as­sess,” gen­eral man­ager Jed Hoyer said. “I know he’ll do as good a job as he can in his rehab, but it’s the kind of in­jury we don’t have to­tal vis­i­bil­ity into how it will feel.”

Quin­tana be­gan what all in­volved said will be a typ­i­cal throw­ing pro­gres­sion, start­ing with 60-foot tosses off flat ground. Ac­cord­ing to Ross, Quin­tana had “good sen­sa­tion” in the thumb — for what­ever that’s worth.

“One thing I know about my ex­pe­ri­ences in base­ball is there are a lot of twists and con­cerns that can come from ma­jor med­i­cal pro­ce­dures,” Ross said. “So it’s a big wait-and-see for me.”

Back on track?

Un­cer­tainty con­tin­ues to sur­round first base­man An­thony Rizzo, who stood in the bat­ter’s box and tracked pitches for a sec­ond straight day. That means no swing­ing, which would still be too much for his sore upper back. Rizzo has faced live pitch­ing for real only once in the last week and a half.

“Ob­vi­ously, he’s los­ing valu­able prepa­ra­tion time,” said Hoyer, who added that it’s un­clear if Rizzo will be able to play on Open­ing Day.

Three ad­di­tions

Catcher Jose Lo­ba­ton and pitch­ers Tyson Miller and Cory Ab­bott were added to the Cubs’ 60-man player pool, bring­ing their to­tal to 57. Seven­teen of those play­ers, in­clud­ing the three new­com­ers, are as­signed to the team’s taxi camp in South Bend, In­di­ana.

JOHN ANTONOFF/SUN-TIMES

The Cubs don’t want to get ahead of them­selves talk­ing about Jose Quin­tana’s re­turn.

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