Page last updated on Mon Oct 23 05:32:50 EDT 2017
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:00 PM EDT

More evidence of the Chicago Cubs’ very hard season appeared as they not only lost their best pitcher to injury for no less than 2 weeks; they lost one of the finest pitchers going in the game at this time.

Right-hander Ryan Dempster, who has a scoreless streak of 22 consecutive innings, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his latissimus dorsi muscle. NFL spreads

The Cubs recalled left-hander Scott Maine to take his place on the roster, with Randy Wells scheduled to take Dempster’s spot in the rotation against the Chicago White Sox.

Most likely the club’s best trade chip as the non-waiver trade cut off point approaches, Dempster is predicted to miss only a few starts and will be back well before the July 31 deadline.

“We’re going to play it conservatively with this one with the way he’s throwing,” related president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. “We wish to nip this one in the bud to make sure it does not turn into a strain or something like that. It’s unfortunate because he was throwing as well as anybody in the game.”

Dempster announced the issue 1st appeared 3 outings back against the Milwaukee Brewers, the 1st of his three consecutive scoreless outings. The tightness behind his right shoulder has gotten gradually worse ever since.

“It got harder to pitch thru it,” Dempster said. “I’m a pretty good judge of my body, when it tells me it’s ready to go again, I’ll be in a position to go again.”

The Chicago Cubs appear assured that because the injury is not considered major, it will not affect Dempster’s trade worth. Even if the injury lasted longer than predicted, major league rules do not restrict a player from being traded when he’s on the DL.

“I don’t want to discuss specifically about Dempster from that perspective, but I will say generally when players have these minor injuries, it’s common to wait till they come back and build health before there are trade talks,” Epstein asserted. “That’s the right thing to do.”

Dempster has a 2.11 ERA, but a lack of run support and help from the bullpen has left him with a 3-3 record after 12 starts. This is his 2nd stint on the DL after missing 2 starts with a quadriceps injury earlier in the season.

“I won’t play catch for a few days,” Dempster related. “I’ll just let it get completely rested up and healed up, see where we are at. It’s gotten better in the last couple days, which is a very good sign. That means that it’s loosening up. Just get it back and get it ready. When it’s ready, it’s ready and I’ll go out there and pitch.”

Always fast with a one-liner, Dempster took the injury in stride, which is better to do with that 22-inning scoreless streak.

“I wanted to sit on that for a little while, make Orel Hershiser sweat,” Dempster announced.

Hershiser, who was one of the broadcasters for Sun. night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, has the record for successive scoreless innings at 59.

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