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updated: 8/21/2011 8:32 PM

Cubs' Cashner ready for rehab assignment

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  • Recently signed Cubs draft pick Dillon Maples sits in the Cubs' dugout before Sunday night's game.

      Recently signed Cubs draft pick Dillon Maples sits in the Cubs' dugout before Sunday night's game.
    Bruce Miles | Staff Photographer


Pitcher Andrew Cashner is ready for the next step in his rehab from a strained right rotator cuff.

Cashner threw in the bullpen Sunday and will board a plane Monday to join the Cubs' Class AA Tennessee farm club to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

The 24-year-old right-hander said he hopes "to start a couple games" for Tennessee and maybe finish his rehab at Class AAA Iowa before rejoining the Cubs in early September in a bullpen role. Cashner is scheduled to start Tuesday night for Tennessee.

"I'd say between Sept. 1 and Sept. 3, somewhere in there," he said. "I've been ready for a while now. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to get back on the mound and stay healthy."

Cashner hurt himself during his first start of the season, April 5.

Draft picks visit:

On Saturday, No. 1 draft pick Javier Baez visited Wrigley Field. Baez signed with the Cubs last week as did pitcher Dillon Maples, who visited Sunday and played catch.

Maples, drafted in the 14th round, got a big bonus of $2.5 million to forgo a baseball and football career at the University of North Carolina.

"It was a pretty tough decision," Maples said. "But at the end of the day, I sat down with my family, and I felt like this was the best decision for me."

Former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry worked until the deadline to get Baez, Maples and other high draft picks signed even though Hendry knew he would be fired.

"Because I'm new and I'm coming in, I had developed kind of a relationship with him because my dad was talking a lot to him at the draft and all that," Maples said. "So with him being let go, it made me feel a little less comfortable, I'd say."

Days dwindling for deals:

Interim GM Randy Bush said he'd work closely with owner Tom Ricketts if any waiver deals came up between now and Sept. 1, but it doesn't sound like anything is imminent.

"I don't anticipate anything, but I think it's the nature of the business that opportunities come up at different times, and you have to be prepared," Bush said. "And we will be prepared. One of the things that I told Mr. Ricketts is that very thing, that something could up and could come up quickly, and we'll be prepared to react to it.

"I think that the teams that are in the race are the teams that are out there looking to fill their needs. Those can change on a daily basis depending on injuries or poor performance or whatever teams are faced with."

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