Three injury-related bits to share. You’ll note that there’s no God’s Wrath warning here, so you know that they aren’t too serious. Probably.
- Despite hopeful reports earlier in the week, Jake Arrieta (shoulder tightness) did not manage to throw off the mound this week. He tells Patrick Mooney that he’s on board with the plan the Cubs have in place for bringing him along, and that if the schedule holds, he believes he can be ready in time for Opening Day. He’ll throw on flat ground today, and that’ll probably go a long way to determining whether he can get on the mound early next week.
- According to multiple reports out of Arizona, Nate Schierholtz was sent home yesterday after colliding with Junior Lake during outfield drills (Schierholtz got bopped in the head). Schierholtz apparently checked out all right, but sending him home was an appropriate precaution. Rick Renteria immediately said he expected Schierholtz back at practice today, and Mark Gonzales says Schierholtz is indeed there and working out (albeit with a sore jaw). Sounds like no concerns here.
- James McDonald threw to live batters for the first time in about 10 months, as he was coming back from shoulder issues that plagued his 2013 season. He told Carrie Muskat that it felt good. So, good. A healthy McDonald is an interesting back-of-the-rotation option, though he’d need a long-term issue from one of the other guys (like Arrieta) to have a regular spot. McDonald is probably the early leader for the fifth starter spot, by the way, if Arrieta misses time to start the year. Chris Rusin would likely head to AAA, and Carlos Villanueva – if he’s not traded – would go to the bullpen.