With Andrew Cashner out for another two months, with Carlos Zambrano on the DL with a sore back, with Ryan Dempster missing a start with a sore back and stomach issues, with Kerry Wood battling control issues after just coming off the DL, with Marcos Mateo headed to the DL with an elbow issue, with Casey Coleman up, with Chris Carpenter down, with Ramon Ortiz coming up…

And on and on the initial clauses of that sentence go. I couldn’t even tell you what the conclusion is, and, right now, neither can the Cubs.

The Cubs already had called up Casey Coleman from Class AAA Iowa to make an emergency start while they monitored Ryan Dempster’s suddenly cranky back, and another roster move was coming today to activate minor-league free agent Ramon Ortiz, 38, to start in place of ailing Carlos Zambrano.



But now it looks as though multiple moves might be required, with Mateo heading back to Chicago for an MRI exam — and to the disabled list — five days after pitching a season-high five innings (56 pitches) without allowing a run Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.

Cubs officials were preparing to huddle late Monday to determine whether they would need more bullpen help today. That probably would come in the form of Chris Carpenter, the guy they demoted to make room for Coleman. He would be eligible to be recalled so quickly because of Mateo’s injury.

And after Coleman’s 51/3 serviceable innings, the Cubs also must decide whether he will stay in the majors for another start before the All-Star break or will head back to Iowa. How Dempster’s back fares is another factor in the mix-and-match, patchwork process. Chicago Sun-Times.



The simplest move would be to place Mateo on the DL and activate Ortiz. If the Cubs want to bring in another arm, they could place Ryan Dempster on the DL and recall Chris Carpenter. The Cubs could also send Coleman back out, adding Ortiz in his place, and then DL Mateo, adding Carpenter in his place.

For now, the biggest point of confusion comes from Ryan Dempster’s status. If the Cubs think he can return in a few days – and it sounds like they do – then they may just have to make due a pitcher short for those few days. If, on the other hand, Dempster is going to miss another start, they might as well DL him and bring up another arm.


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