Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Well, if you weren’t looking forward to seeing Chris Volstad out there again before the All-Star break, you’ve got something to root for.

After another successful and pain-free bullpen session yesterday, Ryan Dempster, who’s been on the DL for about three weeks with a sore right lat, says he wants to return not after the All-Star break as previously discussed. He wants to come back on Sunday in New York.

“We’re going to give it some thought,” Dale Sveum said of Dempster’s request to get back into the rotation early. “Everything is going so well and we’ll probably evaluate him tomorrow and Friday and make a decision probably on Friday and see how everything goes the next couple of days.”

Obviously the Cubs have to be very careful here. While I’m sure both they and Dempster would like him to return to the mound as soon as possible for a variety of reasons, they certainly don’t want Dempster to rush things, hurt himself more seriously, and then be unavailable in trade later in July.

Sveum acknowledged that risk.

“There’s always risk when you’re talking about a guy with injury but we’ll kind of evaluate it and we’ll go from there,” Sveum said. “You have to get all the parties involved and [we] will make an announcement on that. I have been watching him throw and he looks good but we’re talking about a guy who has been on the DL for a little bit so there’s always risk and concern, especially with a guy that has thrown the ball so well this year.”

If Dempster doesn’t return on Sunday, he’ll likely make a start later in the week, or that weekend after the All-Star break. In any event, he’ll have at least three starts after the break to demonstrate health and effectiveness.

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