The Chicago Cubs have so many players recovering from injuries, it is, at times, difficult to keep them all straight. For example, what the hell happened to Aaron Miles? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not exactly pushing for his return. But, like, did he break his femur or something?
For now, we’ve got updates on pitchers Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster, and catcher Geovany Soto. And for the most part, it’s good news.
As to Lilly…
“He said he could’ve pitched today if he had to,” Piniella said of the left-hander. “That’s a good sign for us. The decision to give him another 48 hours was a good one.”
Lilly wasn’t sure when he first felt some discomfort in his left knee. It hasn’t really slowed him from doing his work on the side, and he said, “it’s nothing major.”
“I was feeling OK,” Lilly said. “Hopefully with the rest, it’ll give me a chance to feel better.” cubs.com.
Lilly’s expected to pitch on Monday against the Phillies, which isn’t the worst thing in the world: previously, the series against the NL East-leading club was going to feature the struggling Rich Harden (Nationals aside) and the untested Kevin Hart.
Ryan Dempster, who’s been put on a strict rehabilitation program consisting solely of NOT celebrating anything, is recovering well from a broken bone in his big toe.
Dempster … had his first bullpen session Saturday since he injured his foot on July 5. Piniella called the workout “OK.”
“The bone has to start showing calcifications and fusing together, and that’s what we’re waiting for,” Piniella said. “I think before we make any concrete determination [as to when Dempster can pitch], he’ll have to get another X-ray. He threw today and he was OK. He passed the first test. Before we can push him any further, he’ll have to get another X-ray.”
Dempster expects to have an X-ray on Thursday when the Cubs return from this two-city trip to Washington and Philadelphia. If he continues to progress, Dempster could throw a simulated game rather than go to the Minor Leagues, and be inserted back in the Cubs’ rotation by the end of July or the first week of August.
That would not be an early recovery for Dempster, but neither would it be a protracted one. A late July return could mean just one more missed start after today.
Soto’s rehab also seems to be going adequately.
Catcher Geovany Soto (left oblique strain) also is expected back the first week of August. He is currently rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., at the team’s Spring Training facility.
The lack of substance in the update is probably more encouraging than discouraging. No news is good news, right? The most important part of Soto’s return is that it allows the Cubs to start using Jake Fox a little more flexibly again, instead of cementing his butt to the bench as the back-up catcher.