Our Pledge To You

Cubs

Cubs’ Yu Darvish (blister) fares well in side session, expects to open on time

CUBS 7, RANGERS 3
INDIANS 8, CUBS 3

Darvish in good mood

After throwing a bullpen session without pain Friday, right-hander Yu Darvish said he was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and well the blister on his right ring finger had healed since the skin broke during his start Tuesday.

“I put pee on it. That’s why,” he joked — three days after being asked about the famed Moises Alou home remedy.

Yu Darvish in his last start. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

If it sounds like Darvish was in a good mood, maybe that’s because he said he not only expects to start the season on time but that “even now I’m ready to throw a game.”

As a precaution, he threw Friday’s bullpen with a Band-Aid covering the affected area and plans to wear one early in Sunday’s final spring start on the minor-league side of camp.

“If I feel good, I will try it without the Band-Aid,” he said.

Manager Joe Maddon said he’ll wait until Darvish gets through Sunday before declaring the order of his rotation after Jon Lester — though it’s all but certain to go in the same order as the spring: Darvish, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana.

If Darvish were to need extra time, the Cubs could push him back as far as April 7 before needing a fifth starter because of days off.

Baez blast

MVP runner-up Javy Baez, who has had a quiet, productive spring, felt the power Friday, delivering his first homer of the spring — a three-run shot way out to center in the third inning — in a split-squad game against the Rangers.

Happy returns

Alec Mills, who hasn’t pitched in a game since March 4 because of back soreness, is scheduled to return to action Saturday.

Barnette progress

Right-hander Tony Barnette, who last pitched on March 3 because of a sore shoulder, threw off a mound Thursday for the first time since then. He threw 20 pitches, all fastballs. “Everything went well,” he said. “No issues to report.”

Roster move

Non-roster invited right-hander Christian Bergman has been released.

On deck

Cubs at Rockies, Scottsdale, 8:40 p.m. Saturday, cubs.com radio, Jon Lester vs. Kyle Freeland.