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Chicago Cubs

Cubs notes: Thumb injury keeps Javy Báez out; Yu Darvish to pitch Saturday

The Cubs' Javy Báez reacts after being forced out at first base in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Báez left the game early because of a left thumb injury.
The Cubs' Javy Báez reacts after being forced out at first base in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Báez left the game early because of a left thumb injury.

CHICAGO – Javy Báez could get a minibreak because of a sore left thumb, and pitcher Yu Darvish is on schedule to pitch Saturday at Milwaukee, the Cubs said Monday.

Baez came out of Sunday’s game after jamming his thumb while sliding. Darvish was scratched from starting that game because of tightness in his right forearm.

The Cubs waited to release Monday’s lineup until they saw how Báez was.

“There’s nothing other than the fact that it’s sore,” manager Joe Maddon said. “So we have to give that today, possibly tomorrow, too. We’ll find out. If that were the case, that’s not a bad thing. He gets an All-Star break right now. Day to day is pretty much where it’s at. When you do something like that, normally it gets sorer the next day.”

Darvish declined to talk with reporters when approached at his locker Monday morning. Maddon said the Cubs are being cautious with Darvish because of the much heavier workload he has carried this year compared with last, when he made only eight starts.

“There’s nothing new on Darvish right now,” Maddon said. “I haven’t heard anything really horrible. I’m anticipating good. But I have not heard anything new yet.”

Good kind of pain: First baseman Anthony Rizzo was hit twice by pitches in Monday’s 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He became the Cubs’ all-time hit-by-pitch king with 138, surpassing Frank Chance’s 137. Chance played for the Cubs from 1898 to 1912.

“I think where it sits right now, it’s not going to be broken,” Maddon said. “He has years to add onto that record. At some point, there’s got to be the suitable trophy presented. I don’t know if it’s his back, (uniform No.) 44 with the ball embedded in it or something like that.

“I talked to him about it. I said, ‘You’ve got to be proud, brother. That’s not going to be broken.’ You’re right up there with (Joe) DiMaggio and (Cal) Ripken.”

Rizzo gladly accepted congratulations.

“Absolutely,” he said, even noting the pain. “Are you kidding me? This whole franchise and how long the Cubs have been here? It’s a record. So it’s pretty cool.”

Hello again, Adbert: The Cubs recalled pitcher Adbert Alzolay from Triple-A Iowa, giving them 33 players on the active roster.

Alzolay, 24, joins the Cubs for the second time this season. He went 1-1 with a 7.15 ERA in three appearances (two starts) during his first big-league stint from June 20 to July 1.

He had a 4.41 ERA in 15 starts with Iowa, with 91 strikeouts in 651/3 innings.

Maddon said he’d likely use Alzolay in long relief.

“We’re not looking for him to start right now, obviously,” Maddon said. “When you utilize him out of the ’pen, it would probably be in a longer role – probably, but I won’t run away from it otherwise if it’s necessary.”

Back to Wrigley: With the Seattle Mariners making a rare visit to Wrigley Field, it brings back memories for their manager, Scott Servais, who caught for the Cubs from 1995 to ‘98.

“Oh, yeah, this is an awesome place,” he said. “I spent all my playing days in the National League. But since I got done playing, I’ve been in the American League my whole career.

“Every time I get a chance to come back here, it’s great. They changed the ballpark a lot from where it was back in the late ’90s when I was here, from the clubhouses. Certainly the infrastructure has changed a ton.

“It’s great. It’s good for the players. It’s updated. But you still have the old-time feel of the ballpark once you get out on the field. It’s a great environment. I raised my kids here. One was born here in Chicago. So it’s got a lot of great memories.”

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