Cubs’ Jose Quintana plays catch, but it’s just a small step on a ‘twisting’ road

Quintana began what all involved hope will be a typical throwing progression, starting with 60-foot tosses off flat ground.

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Cubs starter Jose Quintana’s season is in doubt.

Quintana is playing catch again.

Justin Berl/Getty Images

Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana got the stitches removed from his left thumb on Wednesday. A day later, he played catch at Wrigley Field, his first time throwing the ball since slicing a nerve in the thumb while washing dishes late last month, an injury that required surgery.

“It was all smiles from him, which was nice,” manager David Ross said.

Nice, indeed, but will Quintana be on the mound in a game any time soon?

“It’s a difficult thing to assess,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I know he’ll do as good a job as he can in his rehab, but it’s the kind of injury we don’t have total visibility into how it will feel.”

Quintana began what all involved hope will be a typical throwing progression, starting with 60-foot tosses off flat ground. According to Ross, the pitcher had “good sensation” in the thumb — for whatever that’s worth.

“One thing I know about my experiences in baseball is there are a lot of twists and concerns that can come from major medical procedures,” Ross said. “So it’s a big wait-and-see for me.”

Back on track?

More uncertainty continues to surround first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who stood in the batter’s box and tracked pitches for a second straight day. That means no swinging, which would still be too much for his sore upper back. Rizzo has faced live pitching for real only once in the last week and a half.

“Obviously, he’s losing valuable preparation time,” said Hoyer who added that it’s “unclear” if Rizzo will be able to play on Opening Day.

Three additions

Catcher Jose Lobaton and pitchers Tyson Miller and Cory Abbott were added to the Cubs’ 60-man player pool, bringing the total in the pool to 57. Seventeen of those players, including the three newcomers, are assigned to the team’s South Bend, Ind., camp.

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