I guess this means the Ryan Dempster trade speculation can be put on hold for a bit.
Dempster has been placed on the disabled list due to a strained right lat muscle, with the Cubs telling Carrie Muskat of MLB.com that the injury is “not considered serious.”
The injury comes with Dempster in the midst of a 22-inning scoreless streak that includes three straight starts with zero runs allowed against the Red Sox, Twins, and Brewers.
Dempster’s public sit-down with team president Theo Epstein last week created headlines and has everyone believing it’s only a matter of time before the Cubs trade the 35-year-old impending free agent, but reports about a deal possibly being done by the end of this month are now moot.
He’ll have plenty of time to come back and prove he’s healthy again before the trade deadline, but if the Cubs are going to move Dempster it’ll be in July.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)