Arrieta: Thumb 'won't be a problem'

Maddon keeping tabs on Cubs righty's blister for a couple days

Arrieta: Thumb 'won't be a problem'

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, who left Thursday's game after one-third of an inning to avoid breaking open a blister on his right thumb, said it was "business as usual" on Friday and he was able to do his post-start routine. Manager Joe Maddon said they were still evaluating whether Arrieta would be ready for Opening Day.

"Blisters are kind of weird in how they react," Maddon said Friday. "I think it was good that we got him out as quickly as we did. ... We'll just look at it the next couple days and evaluate. It's nothing awful."

The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to face the Angels when the Cubs open the regular season April 4 in Anaheim. Is that in jeopardy?

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"I don't know that yet, quite frankly," Maddon said. "Blisters can be funny. Right now, we haven't called off the jam yet. I would say after another day or two, we'll look at it and then try to make our best determination at that point. You don't want it to become chronic, and they can become more chronic.

"Opening Day starter is always very prestigious; however, so is winning the World Series, and you definitely want to make the right call," Maddon said.

Arrieta faced seven batters and threw 34 pitches against the Giants on Thursday before he was lifted as a precaution. The right-hander put Neosporin on his thumb overnight.

"It really won't be a problem at all," Arrieta said. "It really wasn't even a blister. From the environment here, the skin, having to deal with dry skin, cracking all that stuff, it's just managing it. Once we get out of Arizona, it'll no longer be an issue at all."

Arrieta is scheduled to make one more Cactus League start Tuesday against the Athletics before opening the Cubs' regular season April 4 against the Angels.

He also won't be using Super Glue on his thumb in an effort to prevent the blister from breaking, but he will try another product. And he's hoping he doesn't need anything on his hand.

"The skin might be hardened to the point where it's not even necessary," Arrieta said. "We'll see if that's the case. We still have four days until I pitch again. We'll be fine."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.