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.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.