CINCINNATI — After Cubs closer Brandon Morrow suffered a back injury while taking off his pants this week, fans on Twitter quickly offered him plenty of advice.
“Probably more people sympathizing with me actually than making fun of it,” said Morrow, who’s on the 10-day disabled list but expects to be ready to return as soon as he is eligible.
“I think once you hit 30, everybody’s kind of experienced something, like brushing your teeth or bending down to wash your hands and something grabbing. Or sneezing, or whatever.”
Morrow, who played catch Friday for the first time since suffering a back spasm Monday morning, said the pace of his recovery has gone about as expected so far.
Manager Joe Maddon said he plans to mix and match his late-inning relievers to close games during Morrow’s absence.
Morrow is eligible to return Wednesday against the Dodgers. If things go as planned, it leaves him only a few more days to answer questions about his freak injury.
“Next time, maybe I’ll be more vague,” he said.
Finger day for Russell
Shortstop Addison Russell was allowed to rest one day early after he aggravated the finger he jammed almost three weeks ago while taking a swing.
With fly ball pitchers starting Friday and Saturday, Maddon planned to use both days to give his middle infielders, including second baseman Javy Baez, each a day off.
Maddon flipped the originally planned days because of Russell’s injury but anticipates the shortstop being ready to start Saturday.
“It’s nothing over the top,” Maddon said. “It’s just one of those things you can aggravate now and then.”
After Farrell, who knows?
How the Cubs line up their rotation for the next three games is now just a matter of waiting for a baby.
When the Cubs didn’t need long reliever Luke Farrell on Friday, he became the starter Saturday.
Tyler Chatwood is the choice for Sunday, but his wife already has begun experiencing contractions.
If that accelerates, Chatwood could leave for Chicago, and Mike Montgomery would start Sunday instead.
“You’re just sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time and trying not to let the anxiety or stress bother you,” said Chatwood, who continues to prepare to start Sunday.
If he makes his scheduled start, Montgomery and Jon Lester would start the first two games against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers said that weather concerns scrapped a planned minor-league rehab start for Clayton Kershaw (strained lower back). He will be activated Saturday to start against the Mets.
Kershaw could start Thursday against the Cubs in the final game of a four-game series in Los Angeles.
This and that
Reliever Brian Duensing returned from bereavement Friday. Reliever Justin Hancock was optioned to Class AAA Iowa to make room on the roster.
• Yu Darvish (triceps) threw a bullpen session in anticipation of making a minor-league rehab start Monday. He’ll be evaluated again Saturday before the Cubs commit to the schedule.
•Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. (shoulder), who played catch again, is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday for the first time since going on the DL at the end of May.