ATLANTA — (MCT) After not throwing off a mound for 16 days before Monday, Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster said he’s ready to start on Sunday in New York before the final game before the All-Star break.
Dempster, on the disabled list with a lat injury, made his second bullpen outing on Wednesday and said he knows his body well enough to say he’d be ready, and will lobby manager Dale Sveum for the start.
“I think they trust me,” he said.
Currently, Chris Volstad is on track to start against the Mets.
Of course, if Dempster re-injured himself by rushing back before he’s ready, the Cubs would hurt their chances of dealing one of their most valuable chips before the trading deadline. Dempster was slated to return after the All-Star break, and not too many people can miss that much time and be ready to go six days after first pitching off a mound.
“Not everybody is Ryan Dempster either,” Sveum, said. “That’s the thing. He’s so attuned to his mechanics and his arm as well and how he feels. It’s at the point where it’s not like we’d leave him out there for 110 pitches or something either. He’s feeling as good as he ever does. That’s the kicker to it all.”
Sveum would have Volstad, Paul Maholm and perhaps Matt Garza available in relief that day since it’s the end of the half and they’ll be off for four days afterwards.
“He wants to pitch,” pitching coach Chris Bosio said. “That’ll be determined in the next couple days, but he’s eager to get back out there. I’m sure Dale will get together with Theo (Epstein). I know he’s mentioned it to me, but it’s a wait-and-see.”
Isn’t there a risk knowing Dempster just starting throwing off a mound on Monday?
“There’s always a risk when you’re talking about a guy with an injury,” Bosio said. “I’ve been watching him throw and he looks good. Again, we’re talking about a guy who’s been on the DL for a little bit. So there’s always risk and concern, especially with a guy that’s thrown so well this year.”
Sveum said he’d “give it some thought” and make an announcement on Friday.
Bosio also said he’s spoken with Volstad about shaking off Steve Clevenger so much on Tuesday.
“There’s still a lot of improvement that needs to happen with Chris, not only mentally but physically,” he said.
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