MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez underwent an MRI on his left hamstring Friday, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon described the injury as "minimal," but the second baseman will remain sidelined until early next week."We wanted to make sure about everything and it was honestly very minimal," Maddon said of the
MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez underwent an MRI on his left hamstring Friday, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon described the injury as "minimal," but the second baseman will remain sidelined until early next week.
"We wanted to make sure about everything and it was honestly very minimal," Maddon said of the test results. "This is a precautionary tale right now. Talking to [athletic trainer PJ Mainville], if it was during the season, we'd be a little more aggressive. I just talked to Javy and he says he feels fine. You'll see him back out at the beginning of next week. It's something we don't want to press on right now."
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The Cubs have two weeks remaining in Spring Training and could get Baez some at-bats in Minor League camp if needed to make up for lost time.
"I'm not going to push on this," Maddon said. "I just want him out hitting, I want him out taking his ground balls and I want him out moving because he's looked so good. [I told him] 'Take your time, be careful, but if you feel good enough, I'd like to see you out there moving because you're really clicking right now and you don't want him to lose that feel.'"
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Hendricks tests new curve grip, K's 7
Kyle Hendricks struck out seven over four-plus innings, giving up two runs on five hits, and had a chance to test his new curveball grip in the Cubs' 4-4 tie against the White Sox on Saturday.
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New pitching coach Jim Hickey recommended the tweak. Instead of having his pointer finger and middle finger on the ball, Hendricks lifts his pointer finger off.
"It feels completely different," Hendricks said. "Just taking a finger away from it, it feels like my ability to spin the baseball harder is easier for me. I just struggled with the other grip and felt I had to create spin. This one, I feel locks me into the right slot. It's the tightest it's felt ever."
It's still a work in progress. Of the six or seven Hendricks threw, only a couple were for strikes. But he got good feedback from catcher Victor Caratini.
"Hopefully, I can start to use it more," Hendricks said.
Caratini hit his first spring home run leading off the third, but former Cubs top prospect Eloy Jimenez smacked a two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead. Cael Brockmeyer led off the Cubs' ninth with a homer to tie the game.
Pro day lineup cards
Saturday's lineup cards for the Cubs' split-squad doubleheaders were all pro. For example, "Proward" was starting in right field, "Proant" at third base, and "Probrist" in left field. In case you didn't get it, that's Jason Heyward, Kristopher Bryant and Benjamin Zobrist, respectively. Saturday was pro day.
"We were in the dugout [Friday], talking about, 'That was a pro at-bat, that was a pro move, that's a pro play on defense,'" Maddon said of a conversation he had with bench coach Brandon Hyde. "I said, 'Let's go pro.' So, [Hyde] and I kept giggling back and forth so we decided with the split doubleheader today and guys all over the place, and how well they've been going about their business, we wanted to indicate they were pro."
It took a while to figure out some of the names. "Co-Pro" was Ryan Court. Yu Darvish studied the lineup card, and he got them right away.
"My favorite is 'La Pro' -- [Thomas La Stella]," Hyde said.
Catcher Willson Contreras, who has been feeling ill, will catch Darvish on Sunday if he's feeling all right. Reliever Pedro Strop, who has been slowed because of a tender left calf, was sent home because he wasn't feeling well.
Catcher Taylor Davis, who has been dealing with a concussion suffered March 2, was able to play catch Saturday.
"Everything's been OK," Davis said. "I've had no symptoms in 72 hours, maybe even more."
Jonathan Lester raved about working with catcher Chris Gimenez on Friday, and Maddon wasn't surprised at the feedback. Gimenez, who is a non-roster invitee in camp, played for Maddon on the Rays in 2012 and '13.
"He's very bright and willing to share his opinion," Maddon said of Gimenez, who's looking for a spot as a backup catcher. "He's not afraid, he knows how to play well when he's not playing often. Not everybody can [do that]. He communicates really well with his pitchers, he communicates well with everybody.
"On the other hand, Caratini is looking really good, too, behind the plate and at the plate," Maddon said of the young catcher, who is another option as a backup. "It's a good spot for us to be in. Both Caratini and 'Gimmy' are attacking it properly. Having Lester say that does not surprise me."
After an off-day Monday, Mike Montgomery will get his first Cactus League start Tuesday. The Cubs have a split-squad doubleheader that day, and Montgomery will start the early game against the Padres, while Tyler Chatwood will start the night game against the Giants.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.