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Cubs take wait-and-see approach to Jake Arrieta (blister)

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs will be cautious with Jake Arrieta after the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner left Thursday's game with a blister, manager Joe Maddon said Friday.

While Arrieta said he'd be ready for Opening Day, Maddon on Friday said he's taking a wait-and-see approach.

"I don't know that yet," Maddon said. "Blisters can be funny. Right now we haven't called off the jam yet. We want to look at it after another day or two. You don't want it to be chronic. You don't want that to happen.

"Opening Day starter is always prestigious. However, so is winning the World Series. You want to make the right call."

Arrieta, who left Thursday's game after giving up five runs in a third of an inning on just 34 pitches, said the blister wasn't bad. However, the super glue he covered it with caused the ball to slip from his hand, preventing his normal movement and velocity.

"I soaked it overnight and it closed up, so the skin will start to harden," said Arrieta, who added that he'd use a different adhesive during his next outing, if needed. Added Maddon: "Blisters are kind of weird, how they react. It's good we got him out as quickly as we did."

Maddon and Arrieta disagreed slightly in terms of the pitcher's prep work for his scheduled Opening Day start against the Los Angeles Angels on April 4. Thursday's start was supposed to be Arrieta's longest outing of the spring, but he said he'd be fine and "next time out, I'll be 80-plus [pitches]."

On Friday, Maddon countered with a slightly different take.

"He missed out on some pitches yesterday," the manager said. "Normally that's the big-pitch outing, then you back them off before they actually start [the season]. He needs to get a legitimate amount of stretching out between now and that moment for us to feel comfortable with it."