Liam Hendriks knows he is fortunate to be making his first start of the season Friday, April 5, at Baltimore.

Taking a line drive off his pitching hand in his final spring start on March 26 could have put him out for weeks, if not months, after the right-hander threw up his hands in self-defense.

"It either would have got me straight in the nose or it would have hit there," at the base of his right pinky finger, he said.

The finger was "puffy" initially, but there was never any pain. He was flexing the affected area immediately without restriction.

He was able to throw his regular bullpen, then get another 76 pitches under his belt on Sunday (56 in a minor league game, 20 more in the bullpen).