ST. LOUIS — It was a day of good news and bad news for the Cubs on the health status of their injured pitchers.
First, the bad news: Top prospect Adbert Alzolay has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a lat injury.
Now, the good news: Both Carl Edwards Jr. and Yu Darvish threw again Friday with good results and could be back with the club before the All-Star Break.
Darvish threw another bullpen Friday in St. Louis after tossing a bullpen in front of Cubs personnel Tuesday in Milwaukee.
"It went well," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Friday. "You don't want to put too much import on every single bullpen session. But I think he continues to feel good and we continue to move in the right direction."
Darvish (triceps) last pitched May 20 when he allowed only 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings in Cincinnati to pick up his first win in a Cubs uniform.
He also missed nearly two weeks earlier in May with the flu.
The Cubs will continue to let Darvish ramp it up in bullpens for now, increasing the number of pitches. He will eventually go on a rehab assignment and could join the rotation sometime in the next month if all goes well.
Edwards (shoulder) — who last pitched May 26 — threw off flat ground Friday, the third time he's done so. He has yet to throw off a mound and he admitted he'll need some time to get back up to full strength.
He is pain-free and feels fine right now, but is OK with the Cubs' plan to be cautious so the shoulder injury doesn't get "bigger than what it is."
Edwards is also shooting for a return to Chicago before the All-Star Break.
"The important thing with both these guys is that we get 'em healthy and we get 'em right because we're hoping to play for seven months and we want to make sure there are no setbacks," Hoyer said. "In both cases, we're trying to be as cautious as possible and use the time to make sure we get these guys really to 100 percent."
The Cubs are taking the long view with both pitchers, hoping they'll be rested and healthy without much mileage on their arms for the stretch run in September and what they hope is another deep run into October.
For right now, there's not a major need for either guy as the Cubs bullpen has been fantastic even without their top setup man (Edwards) while Mike Montgomery has emerged as the Cubs' best starter over the last three weeks.