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Baez feels good, eyes return to Cubs' lineup @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez walked into the Cubs' clubhouse on Wednesday morning after doing some work on the field and gave a quick update.

"I got done with my running," Baez said. "Everything went good."

View Full Game Coverage

MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez walked into the Cubs' clubhouse on Wednesday morning after doing some work on the field and gave a quick update.

"I got done with my running," Baez said. "Everything went good."

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training information

The infielder has been sidelined since last Thursday after feeling a cramp in his left hamstring. He underwent an MRI, but the problem appears to have been dehydration. Baez has been consuming a lot of water to avoid having that happen again.

"They took all the sodas from my fridge," Baez said. "I have no other choice now."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

On Tuesday, Baez took batting practice, tested his arm and ran. What's next?

"I'm trying to get going," he said. "We'll see. We're going day by day. Hopefully, I can take some [at-bats on Thursday], and Friday or Saturday, I can play."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon confirmed they hope to get Baez in a game either Friday or Saturday.

Injury updates
Catcher Victor Caratini said his left knee was sore and a little tight after he was hit by a pitch from Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and then colliding with Austin Jackson at the plate on Tuesday night.

"I don't know why [Jackson] slid right into my knee," said Caratini, whose status is day to day.

Video: CWS@CHC: Caratini opens the scoring with a solo homer

Reliever Pedro Strop, who has been slowed because of a tender left calf, has yet to appear in a game, but he may get some action this weekend.

Camp battle
The Cubs are deciding who will back up catcher Willson Contreras, and on Wednesday, Chris Gimenez was behind the plate against the Royals. He made a good play to end the fourth when Lucas Duda tried to score from second on Tyler Collins' single to center. Peter Bourjos fired the ball home, and Gimenez held on for the out.

Rather than make the trip to Surprise, Ariz., on Wednesday, Opening Day starter Jon Lester tuned up against the D-backs' Triple-A Reno team in Scottsdale. Lester threw 89 pitches over 5 1/3 innings and gave up three earned runs on eight hits and one walk, striking out six.

Video: CHC@KC: Rizzo singles in a pair to extend the lead

In Surprise, Anthony Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run single in the fifth in a 7-6 loss to the Royals on Wednesday. Ryan Court also hit a leadoff home run in the fifth and Jacob Hannemann added a solo shot in the sixth.

Video: CHC@KC: Hannemann belts a solo homer in the 6th

Tyler Chatwood struck out nine over five innings on Tuesday night, and Maddon said part of the reason was that the right-hander has benefited from working with pitching coach Jim Hickey and coach Mike Borzello regarding strategy.

"First of all, he's got a good arm," Maddon said. "Second of all, they've gotten together, him and 'Borz' and 'Hicks' about strategy, and he took it into the game last night. I know he was very pleased and so were we. There's a couple little added wrinkles, and new thoughts to play with."

Hickey and Borzello aren't focusing on Chatwood's delivery as much as his thought process.

"It goes beyond mechanics and grips," Maddon said. "It's like a hitter. I'm so into the coaches who can coach approach. That's more difficult because that's the mental side."

Maddon supports students
Maddon was supportive of the national school walkout on Wednesday as students left their classrooms for 17 minutes, one for every victim of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Wednesday marked the one-month anniversary of the incident.

Up next
Listen to an exclusive audio webcast as right-hander Kyle Hendricks will make his fourth spring start at 3:05 p.m. CT on Thursday when the Cubs take on the D-backs at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. In his three previous outings, Hendricks gave up four earned runs over nine innings, while striking out 14.

Video: CWS@CHC: Hendricks strikes out seven in four innings

Looking ahead, right-hander Yu Darvish will make his third spring start on Friday when the Cubs face the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez, Victor Caratini, Tyler Chatwood, Kyle Hendricks, Anthony Rizzo, Pedro Strop