Montero improving, nearing return to Cubs

Montero improving, nearing return to Cubs

CHICAGO -- Miguel Montero and manager Joe Maddon exchanged text messages Thursday night. The Cubs catcher's message was that he's ready to return.

"He's doing really well," Maddon said of Montero, who has been on the disabled list since April 25 with lower back tightness. "[He'll be back] any day now."

Montero is 2-for-10 in three games with Triple-A Iowa so far as part of his rehab assignment. He has caught two of the games and been the designated hitter in the other one.

• Last season, Hector Rondon lost his job as the Cubs' closer in May, but got it back in late July and finished strong. This year, Maddon likes what he sees of the right-hander.

"He's more of a pitcher when it comes to closing games as opposed to being this primal one pitch kind of guy," Maddon said of Rondon, who's 7-for-7 in save situations so far. "I like that. That was the positive development from all that."

• After losing consecutive games for the first time this season, the Cubs had Thursday off. Was the break good for the players?

"It was for the manager," said Maddon, who took advantage of the time to get a massage and enjoy a nice dinner.

He does have one regret. Maddon needs to read more.

"I've been negligent," he said. "I really feel like my brain is shrinking rapidly. I need to get back to actually reading as opposed to just watching."

• Left-hander Zac Rosscup, who began the season on the 60-day DL with left shoulder inflammation, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder for a debridement. He will not pick up a baseball for three months.

• Right-hander Andury Acevedo, who is on the Cubs' 40-man roster, tore the ACL in his left knee and underwent season-ending surgery. He appeared in six games at Double-A Tennessee.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.