Cubs activate righthander Ryan Dempster

The Chicago Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster from the 15-day disabled list.  To make room for Dempster on the roster, right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad has been optioned to Triple-A.

Dempster will make the start for the Cubs this afternoon against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Placed on the disabled list with right lat tightness on June 18 (retro to June 16), Dempster returns to the Cubs rotation with a 3-3 record and a 2.11 ERA (19 ER/81.0 IP) in 12 starts this season.  His 2.11 ERA would lead all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify.  Dempster has pitched into the seventh inning or later in eight of his 12 starts and has held the opponent to a .204 batting average (61-for-299), including a .162 mark (11-for-68) with runners in scoring position.

Entering today, Dempster has tossed 22.0-consecutive shutout innings, the longest run by a Cubs starting pitcher since Carlos Zambrano’s 22.0-inning streak in May of 2004.  Dempster is the first Cubs starting pitcher to deliver three-straight outings of at least 7.0 shutout innings since Ken Holtzman tossed three-straight shutouts in May of 1969 (thanks to Elias).

Volstad is 0-7 with a 7.94 ERA (40 ER/45.1 IP) in nine starts with the Cubs this season and is 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA (25 ER/50.2 IP) in eight starts with Iowa.