Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster will be a free agent at the end of the season and now it looks as if he’ll have another chance to prove his strength following the All-Star break.
Out since he strained a lat muscle and was placed on the disabled list on June 13 Cubs manager Dale Sveum announced on Friday that the Cubs starter should return soon.
According to Sveum:
“The earliest (he returns ) is sometime after the All-Star break. We are still are going to wait and be sure everything is built up to whatever he can tolerate, but nothing earlier than that.”
Dempster was scheduled to throw on flat ground on Friday, the first time since his injury. In his absence Randy Wells took over and the Cubs have not yet announced Dempster as the teams starter for Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
Sveum tells ESPN:
“Everything is on schedule with what we are trying to do with him in his progress of getting better. There is no timetable yet, but we still will monitor it. The next step (Friday) was throwing at 120 feet (long toss). That will be a big day (Friday), throwing at 120 feet.”
With the trade deadline approaching on July 31 the 3-3 picture with a 2.11 ERA will likely be a high-profile prospect for many teams impressed with his 22 scoreless innings pitched in his three June stars.
In speaking of his own return the Chicago Cubs pitcher wasn’t promising anything to fans.
“We will see how it goes,” Dempster said. “I might pitch off of the mound on Saturday or Sunday, but we are not going to rush it. I feel great and have been able to do all of my running and conditioning along the way.”
The second half of the season starts on July 13, a game Dempster may find himself pitching in if all goes as planned.