Ryan Dempster won’t be ready to return when eligible

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Ryan Dempster has been out since June 16 with a strained right shoulder and won’t be ready to return from the disabled list when eligible Sunday, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago.

Padilla reports that Dempster “will miss at least one more start” and because he’s yet to throw off a mound it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t return before the All-Star break.

Missing an extra turn or two in the rotation isn’t a huge deal, except in Dempster’s case he’s very likely to be traded … as long as teams are convinced he’s healthy. And if he sits out an extra week or two that might only leave 3-4 starts to prove he’s back to normal before the July 31 trade deadline.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.