Bote OK after HBP to head, resumes activity

Bote says Bumgarner called and texted him following the scare

February 26th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- received a phone call from Giants lefty on Sunday night and then a text message from the veteran pitcher on Monday morning. Bumgarner apologized for the fastball that struck the Cubs infielder in the helmet and wanted to ensure there were no lingering effects.

"He's the ultimate pro," Bote said after taking batting practice on Tuesday. "He definitely does not have to do that, but he did, and that means a lot."

The good news is that Bote -- struck by a pitch from Bumgarner in Sunday's game in Scottsdale, Ariz. -- never displayed any symptoms that necessitated having him enter MLB's concussion protocol. The infielder was checked by team doctors from both the Giants and Cubs and was able to resume baseball activities during Tuesday's morning workout.

Barring anything unexpected, Bote should be cleared to return to game action on Wednesday.

"We went through all the correct things," Bote said. "There's no concussion. But, we went through many, many, many tests. I'm thankful for the Giants' medical staff, as well as our medical staff. They did a thorough, thorough job. I'm like, 'Hey, I'm good guys. Let's go.' But, they keep going, keep going, making sure. It's a hot topic. Mental health is huge right now, so the Cubs and the Giants have done nothing but state-of-the-art process."

Montgomery back on mound

Left-hander Mike Montgomery completed a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday with no issues, following an early-spring bout with shoulder stiffness. Montgomery said he tested out all his pitches and was especially encouraged with his curveball. The next step would be a live batting-practice session on Friday. He will likely need two live BP workouts before shifting into Cactus League games.

"I was pretty happy with it," Montgomery said of Tuesday's mound work. "Part of the reason why I [was cautious] was because I have a little bit of a luxury where I don't have to come into camp trying to make the team. So, I don't have to fight through soreness, pain issues. For me, it was just, be smart about it. Take a couple weeks on the front end [of spring], because we all know how long the season is. It was just the right move."

Worth noting

• Pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay (ranked No. 4 on the Cubs' Top 30 prospects list, per MLB Pipeline) is scheduled to resume playing catch by the end of this week. Alzolay is roughly two weeks behind the rest of the pitchers in camp due to inflammation in his right side (unrelated to last season's lat injury).

• Jason Heyward was in the Cubs' initial lineup against the D-backs on Tuesday as the leadoff man and right fielder, but was a late scratch for "personal reasons," per the team. Mark Zagunis replaced Heyward defensively and center fielder Albert Almora Jr. moved to the leadoff spot.

Up next

Left-hander Cole Hamels is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut for the Cubs on Wednesday, when the Rangers host Chicago at 2:05 p.m. CT in Surprise, Ariz. Righty Edinson Volquez is slated to start for Texas, which will face the Cubs on Opening Day on March 28 in Arlington.