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Cubs place pitcher Dempster on DL

June 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

CHICAGO, June 18 (UPI) -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who boasts major league baseball's second-lowest ERA, was placed on the disabled list Monday, the team said.

Dempster was put on the 15-day DL with back muscle tightness.

The 35-year-old hurler has an ERA of 2.11 after winning his last three starts. He has not allowed a run in his last 22 innings.

Dempster is also the subject of trade rumors as the last-place Cubs look to stock up on prospects.

To take his place on the roster, Chicago activated catcher Geovany Soto, who hasn't played since May 16 due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The Cubs also optioned catcher Wellington Castillo to Class AAA Iowa and recalled pitcher Scott Maine from the farm club.