Cub shortstop Addison Russell (finger) hopes to avoid DL when evaluated Thursday
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The Cubs are nearing decision time on whether shortstop Addison Russell will go on the disabled list because of the left middle finger he injured on a swing Sunday in New York.
Russell, who hasn’t played since leaving that game in the sixth inning, had an MRI exam and was cleared to swing in the batting cage and play catch on the field before the Cubs’ game Wednesday against the Phillies.
‘‘He’s feeling actually pretty good,’’ manager Joe Maddon said.
The Cubs plan to evaluate Russell’s status again Thursday after seeing how the finger responds overnight. It’s not considered serious, but Thursday would be the last day for them to get full value out of the three-day backdating maximum allowed for a move to the 10-day DL.
Infielder David Bote traveled to Chicago from Class AAA Iowa and is available to join the roster if Russell goes on the DL.
How long a run for Montgomery?
Maddon reiterated he doesn’t plan to keep left-hander Mike Montgomery in the rotation once right-hander Yu Darvish returns from the DL, even if Montgomery continues to pitch as well as he has in his first two starts (one run in 11 2/3 innings).
But Montgomery, who is set to start Friday against the Pirates, might get an extended run as a starter because there is ‘‘no [projected] finish line’’ for Darvish’s return from a triceps injury.
Darvish played catch again as he works toward his first bullpen session since going on the DL. But Maddon said he doesn’t know whether Darvish will be ready for that even by the end of the weekend.
That would mark three weeks since Darvish last pitched. Even another two weeks of catch and bullpen work before an anticipated rehab assignment might push Darvish’s return close to the All-Star break.
Feeling the draft
The Cubs finished the three-day draft by selecting local prospects with their last two picks: Wauconda catcher Pierson Gibis and Niles North infielder Itamar Steiner.
The Cubs selected 18 pitchers among their 42 picks, including LSU right-hander Cam Sanders, the son of former Cubs pitcher Scott Sanders, in the 12th round.
They selected 29 college players, including first-rounder Nico Hoerner, a shortstop from Stanford.