Many contenders will likely have a close eye on Sunday’s game between the Cubs and Mets, as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Ryan Dempster will be activated from the disabled list to make the start for the North Siders.
Dempster hasn’t pitched since June 15 due to a sore right lat muscle. The 35-year-old right-hander right-hander was cleared to return after making it through two bullpen sessions this earlier week and throwing off flat ground this afternoon. While he will not require a minor league rehab start, the Cubs plan to limit him to about 80 pitches in his return.
Through 12 starts this season, Dempster has an outstanding 2.11 ERA and 66/22 K/BB ratio in 81 innings. The impending free agent has earned ten and five rights, so he has the ability to block any trade, but he has indicated that he’s willing to accept a deal in the right situation.
Indians rookie outfielder Bradley Zimmer entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins hitless in the month of August. Having appeared in 13 games, he failed to get a hit in 39 trips to the plate. He knocked in just one run, scored twice, and drew five walks with 16 strikeouts.
It looked like the streak might continue, as Zimmer struck out twice, bunted into an out, and reached on a fielder’s choice in his first four at-bats. Fortunately, he got to face Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. Perkins hadn’t pitched in a major league game since April 10, 2016. Zimmer grounded a single to right field, ending his 0-for-August skid which had reached 43 plate appearances and 36 at-bats.
On the season, Zimmer is batting .245/.316/.400 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 275 PA.
The Twins announced, prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Indians (the first game of a double-header), that reliever Glen Perkins was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Perkins had been sidelined since April 2016, recovering from left labrum surgery.
From 2013-15, Perkins served as the Twins’ closer, recording 102 saves with a 3.08 ERA. He appeared in only two games last season before going down with the injury.
Perkins appeared in the ninth inning of the first game Thursday with the Twins trailing 7-3. It did not go well. He gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen before being lifted. Alan Busenitz came in and induced an inning-ending double play from Francisco Lindor.
The Twins will likely ease Perkins back by continuing to use him in lower-leverage situations. Perkins has a club option worth $6.5 million for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout. The Twins picking up that option likely hinges on how Perkins fares down the stretch.