Cubs’ Addison Russell (finger) avoids DL
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After shortstop Addison Russell took batting practice and fielding practice again Thursday morning, the Cubs decided against putting him on the 10-day disabled list for his injured left middle finger.
Russell, who hasn’t played since leaving Sunday’s game after jamming the finger on a swing, still isn’t 100 percent, but he improved this week and is expected to return to the lineup during this weekend’s series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
“The final test is [Friday] morning,” manager Joe Maddon said of batting practice on the field. “If he passes that, he’ll be good to go.”
The Cubs feel confident enough in Russell’s status that they sent infielder David Bote back to Class AAA Iowa after he’d spent the previous two days in Chicago just in case a DL move was -needed.
Maddon anticipates having Russell available off the bench for Friday’s series opener, with a possible return to the lineup Saturday or Sunday.
NOTES: Anthony Rizzo’s homer in the fourth inning against the Phillies on Thursday was his 175th as a Cub, putting him alone in 13th place on the Cubs’ all-time list, ahead of Andre Dawson.
• Rizzo added a second RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, giving him 19 RBI in his last 18 games in which he has an at-bat.
• Jason Heyward’s ninth-inning grand slam Wednesday night was the first walk-off grand slam hit with the Cubs trailing since Ron Santo hit one Sept. 25, 1968, against the Dodgers. Heyward was not in Thursday’s lineup.