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Hendricks throwing, targets post-break return

Rizzo back at leadoff, likely to stay; Zobrist continuing rehab work
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

WASHINGTON -- Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks resumed his throwing program on Tuesday, playing catch from 90 feet, but he is still wearing protective tape on his right middle finger. The good news? Hendricks felt normal.

The right-hander is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right hand. He threw Saturday and Sunday in Miami, then took Monday off before playing catch on Tuesday, saying "it felt 100 percent normal."

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WASHINGTON -- Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks resumed his throwing program on Tuesday, playing catch from 90 feet, but he is still wearing protective tape on his right middle finger. The good news? Hendricks felt normal.

The right-hander is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right hand. He threw Saturday and Sunday in Miami, then took Monday off before playing catch on Tuesday, saying "it felt 100 percent normal."

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He hasn't thrown any offspeed pitches while playing catch, and has at least three to four more days of throwing before he can start thinking about a bullpen session. That would make a return before the All-Star break highly unlikely.

"My arm feels great, it feels normal to throw and I feel no pain in my finger, and that's huge," Hendricks said. "It's going to be tough with the days we have before the All-Star break with this slow throwing progression and the tape. My focus is the next four days to get four good days of throwing in."

Anthony Rizzo was back in the leadoff spot on Tuesday and will likely stay there.

"I want to see [Kyle Schwarber] get back on track, and when he comes back up, what does it look like, and what does that mean?" manager Joe Maddon said of Schwarber, who was sent down to Triple-A Iowa, making his first start there on Monday after batting .171 with the Cubs.

Schwarber singles in last AB in Triple-A debut

"Does somebody else among this group all of a sudden ascend and move Riz back? Let's say Riz doesn't do well and gets cold there -- get him out of there," Maddon said. "We don't have the prototypical leadoff guy. I'm just trying to match our best up against what the other team is doing and trying to get our best hitters in the first three slots. I'm also trying to project in game as to what they might do as far as potential pinch-hitters for us.

"Don't have Lou Brock, don't have Rickey Henderson, Maury Wills is not here. We're trying to do the best we can with what we have."

Video: Must C Crushed: Rizzo keeps rolling as leadoff hitter

• Veteran Ben Zobrist, on the disabled list with inflammation in his left wrist, had another workout session on Tuesday in Chicago, and he will repeat that on Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return.

"No setbacks," Maddon said of Zobrist.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Kyle Hendricks, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist