Updated: June 24, 2014 7:42AM
The Cubs plan to monitor the progress of right-hander Jason Hammel’s badly bruised pitching hand the next several days, but he said he expects to make his next start Sunday in San Diego as scheduled.
“If I can go after getting hit and continue to pitch, I would assume I can make that next start,” said Hammel, who got through 52/3 innings Tuesday night to beat Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka after being hit on the back of his hand by a comebacker the first at-bat of the game.
He wore a bandage Wednesday morning to cover a sizable welt that included a visible impression of the ball’s stitches.
“It’s a little swollen, but I think it’ll be all right,” said Hammel, whose first warmup pitch after getting struck went to the backstop.
“When it hit me, I thought my hand exploded. It was a little sore [after that] with the breaking ball. . . . More or less, you get past it with your mind.”
Hammel (5-2, 2.91 ERA) entered Wednesday with more than 30 percent of the Cubs’ victories and looking like he might be the Cubs’ best “sign-and-flip” free-agent starter in three years of using the flip strategy to stockpile prospects.
“Fortunately for us, he’s a gamer,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He stayed in there. But wanting to stay in and being healthy enough to stay in are two different things. Yesterday, we were fortunate enough that he was both. Because you can be a gamer and be hurt, and it would be ridiculous for me as a manager to keep him in there. But all indications led me to believe he was fine.”