Erik Bedard’s return delayed, trade value damaged

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When the Mariners placed left-hander Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list near the end of June with a knee injury, they were optimistic that he would be able to return immediately following the All-Star break — in time to make two or three showcase starts before being shopped at the trade deadline.

As with most of Bedard’s injuries, it hasn’t gone nearly according to plan.

Gerry Spratt of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the 32-year-old southpaw won’t return early next week against the Yankees, as previously hoped, and might only be able to make one appearance before the July 31 non-wavier deadline.

Bedard has been excellent this season, sporting a 3.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 85/26 K/BB ratio through 90 innings of work, and his current injury (a sprained knee) has nothing to do with his old chronic shoulder issues. But the perception that he’s prone to major physical ailments has not been swept under the rug and it’s likely that his delayed return from the disabled list will hurt his trade value later this month.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.