With every new piece of information about Ryan Dempster’s lat injury – an injury so severe that he threw some 15 scoreless innings over two starts after feeling the injury – it becomes harder and hard to characterize it as anything other than a legit, terribly-timed injury.

The latest comes from Bruce Levine, who reports not only that Dempster will not come off the disabled list when he’s eligible this weekend (something we already knew), but also this ugliness:

Dempster will probably not have to go on a rehab start to the minor leagues, opting to have one or two simulated outings against live hitting. The pitcher was not sure if he could be back on the active list before the All-Star break, which begins July 9.

It’s very hard to put any kind of positive spin on that. No, I still don’t think Dempster’s injury is all that serious, and no, I don’t think it scares teams away, on its own. I think they know he’s mostly just resting at this point.

But, the thing is, they’re still going to want to see him healthy and effective before making a trade. And now the window in which Dempster can confirm those things is shrinking smaller and smaller.

At the same time, I’m hearing some conflicting info from a source who suggests, without details, that there isn’t much of a reason to worry about Dempster. The sense I get is that trade talks have, in no way, been impacted by this injury, however it plays out. I can’t help but be skeptical, given how much the injury went from “injury” to injury, and how protracted it’s become.

Still, I’ll stay positive, and assume the Cubs will get the best deal possible for Dempster by July 31, and he’ll end up in a good situation with a chance to go to the playoffs.



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