MESA, Ariz. – The day after being held out of the lineup for what the Cubs called leg fatigue, second baseman Nick Madrigal said he feels “great.”
Madrigal, who underwent season-ending surgery on a torn right hamstring last June, said as he warmed up Friday he felt tightness in his right glute, possibly stemming in part from a tight lower back.
“I thought that as I got warm, it would kind of go away,” Madrigal said Saturday, “And then yesterday it was just lingering around. I started to run some bases, and they saw me not 100 percent, and they immediately pulled me out.”
Madrigal said he told the medical staff he could play, but they wanted to take a cautious approach. He went through workouts Saturday and is scheduled to play in a minor-league game Sunday.
“My ultimate goal is to be out there every day, but I know it was a big surgery, there’s a smarter approach to it,” Madrigal said, looking ahead to the regular season. “… I think it’s just something we have to be in communication with the training staff, the coaches [about] throughout the year and see where it goes.”
Cubs reliever Mychal Givens threw a hitless inning with a walk and three strikeouts in his Cubs spring training debut.
Givens was on the schedule to throw in a game earlier in the week but opted for a bullpen session instead. Cubs manager David Ross said Givens was experiencing soreness, but Givens downplayed that, saying he didn’t want to jump right into a game after only throwing a bullpen and one session of live batting practice.
Givens, who the Cubs signed a week and a half ago, didn’t commit to being ready in time for Opening Day, saying, “my body will tell me, and we’ll see.”
He added: “If I’m not ready Opening Day, that’s nothing to do with being injured or anything. I just need to make sure I’m healthy for the team and continue to stay healthy for the team.”
Simmons still slowed
Cubs shortstop Andrelton Simmons didn’t completely rule out returning in time for Opening Day.
“But I also want to be game-ready,” he said. “I don’t want to come in and have to catch up. So hopefully I’ll work with the staff and they’ll tell me the plan on when a good time to start is.”
He is still progressing in his throwing program, making it unlikely that he’ll reach that goal by Thursday.
Cubs pitcher Wade Miley, who the Cubs shut down from throwing for 10 days when an MRI this week showed elbow inflammation, said he won’t have to completely start over the ramp-up process when he’s cleared to throw again.
“I just want to get to it now instead of fighting it all year long,” he said, adding that he’ll continue with his shoulder program in the meantime. “I feel like we can get ahead of it now and be fine. The MRI looked pretty good for a 35-year-old with a lot of innings. I was pretty pleased.”
Miley is expected to begin the season on the injured list.