Fowler nearing Minor League rehab assignment

Cubs place Cahill on 15-day DL, activate lefty reliever Richard

Fowler nearing Minor League rehab assignment

CHICAGO -- Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler will continue his rehab from a right hamstring strain this weekend with the team, but the hope is he will be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment next week.

"By the end of the coming week, he'll be available to us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday.

Fowler was able to run on Thursday and Friday, and he has been hitting. Fowler has been sidelined since June 19.

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right knee patellar tendinitis, and lefty Clayton Richard was activated from the DL. Richard had been sidelined since June 21 with a blister on his left middle finger.

Maddon said Cahill has been battling the sore knee for some time. The right-hander has given up four earned runs and walked five over his past three outings.

Richard made two starts at Double-A Tennessee, and he said getting stretched out definitely helped.

"It's nice to get the work in," Richard said. "If you have anything timing-wise, you can get it ironed out down there."

• Catcher David Ross was activated from the seven-day concussion DL and infielder Munenori Kawasaki was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Ross was batting .234 when he took a foul ball off his mask on July 5, and the veteran needed the time off.

Ross' game-tying solo homer

• The Cubs set up their rotation for the upcoming rematch against the Mets, which begins Monday night at Wrigley Field. All-Stars Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta will start the first two games, and they will be followed by Kyle Hendricks. Arrieta did not pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

"I think he had exactly the week he wanted to have and needed to have to get him locked in for the second half," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of Arrieta.

Adam Warren, who made a spot start prior to the All-Star break, was back in Chicago's bullpen for the series against Texas, but Maddon said the Cubs may insert the right-hander into the rotation again for a spot start to give the others a breather.

Joe Nathan threw 11 pitches (eight strikes) in one inning of relief for Iowa on Thursday as he continued his rehab. Nathan was eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. Maddon said the right-hander, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery in April 2015, is making progress.

• The Cubs signed three more players from the 2016 Draft by Friday's deadline to raise the total to 24. The trio includes right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker (11th round), infielder Delvin Zinn (23rd round), and right-handed pitcher Nathan Sweeney (33rd round).

• The Cubs' July 31 game against the Mariners at Wrigley Field will begin at 7:08 p.m. CT and be telecast by ESPN. The game was originally listed as "TBD." The start times for the remaining "TBD" games on Chicago's schedule will be determined at a later date.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for 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.