R.A. Dickey will make weekend start after MRI exam

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R.A. Dickey has been bothered by neck and back problems for most of the season, but an MRI exam showed no structural damage and the Blue Jays announced that he’s expected to take his normal turn in the rotation Saturday against the Mariners.

Toronto manager John Gibbons told John Lott of the National Post that Dickey has merely “a little inflammation.” However, while that definitely qualifies as positive news it doesn’t change the fact that Dickey has mostly struggled this year with a 4.50 ERA in 36 innings and the knuckleballer has admitted that the discomfort limits him on the mound at times.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.