Morrow plays catch, but no timetable for return to Cubs
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow played catch on the outfield grass Thursday afternoon as his slow recovery from right-biceps inflammation took a small step forward.
Morrow has been on the 10-day disabled list effective July 18, and there is no timetable for his return.
"It took me a few throws to get my shoulder back in slot, but other than that, it felt good," said Morrow who threw from up to 60 feet. "I wasn't pushing anything. It wasn't the start of any sort of throwing program. Just test it out. All good today."
The Cubs will see how Morrow responds over the next day and go from there. He was asked when the pain subsided.
"It's been very gradual," he said. "It's hard to say when. I still get some little twinges of stuff, which is why I've been hesitant. But with throwing, it didn't bother me."
He also had a reply when asked if there was a silver lining in him possibly being fresh when he returns.
"Well, you just make one up," he said. "There's no silver lining. That's all you can say as far as positivity, 'I will be a little more rested if you come back feeling good down the road.'"
Left-hander Drew Smyly threw a simulated game Thursday. Smyly is in what appears to be the late stages of his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
"I thought he finished strongly," said manager Joe Maddon. "He agreed with that. His fastball started to jump that second 15 pitches. A little bit of command issues with his curve and his changeup, not sharp. But he only threw three in each set. But fastball got better, and it finished really strongly. He felt about himself.
"He left smiling. Smyly left smiling."
Slow go for Bryant:
Third baseman Kris Bryant is eligible to come off the DL Friday, but that is not going to happen as the Cubs take it slowly with his recovery from left-shoulder inflammation. This is Bryant's second stint on the DL with that ailment.
"He was still feeling it a little bit at different spots," Joe Maddon said. "We've kind of backed off."
Age is just a number:
Joe Maddon was talking about the contributions of all the players on the team. He got around to veteran Ben Zobrist.
"How about Zobrist?" he said. What is he? Zo is my age, and he's hitting over .300. He's hitting almost like .500 the last 10 days, whatever it's been, playing a high level on defense. Both sides of the plate he's hitting the ball well. That's what I want."
For the record, Zobrist is 37, and Maddon is 64.