PITTSBURGH -- There is always the chance that Ryan Dempster could stay in Chicago. He may decide he doesn't want to relocate to Atlanta for the last two months of the season. Dempster has earned the right to call the shots as a player with 10 years in the Major Leagues and the last five with the same team.

"That's what the 10-and-5 rule is for," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Tuesday. "If anything does come about, you have the right and ability to take your time and make a decision that's right for your family.

"Not too many people get to 10 and five," Sveum said. "When you get to that status, you're obviously a really, really good player that an organization felt was good enough to get a long-term contract. You have to be, one, a good productive player, and two, you're probably a pretty good teammate and pretty good person and have a lot of character."

Dempster, 35, who is being courted by the Braves and Dodgers, said he has until next Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline to make a decision. Will the Cubs give Dempster that time?

"Absolutely," said Randy Bush, the Cubs' assistant general manager.

Garza continues to receive treatment on elbow

PITTSBURGH -- Matt Garza will not pitch this weekend and won't start until Monday at the earliest. The Cubs right-hander, pulled from Saturday's start because of cramping in his right elbow, returned to Chicago on Tuesday to be with his wife, who was expecting the couple's fourth child.

Garza will continue to get treatment and be re-examined on Friday at Wrigley Field.

"We'll see where we are on Friday and hope everything keeps progressing," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Tuesday.

Because of Thursday's off-day, the Cubs won't need another starter. Travis Wood will open the series against the Cardinals on Friday and be followed by Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm.

Cubs know Rizzo will have bumps in the road

PITTSBURGH -- Cubs rookie Anthony Rizzo had a tough game on Tuesday, striking out three times against the Pirates. It was his first multi-strikeout game, but the Pirates made it tough. The left-handed hitter had to face a lefty pitcher each at-bat.

"Obviously, you want better at-bats," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, "but that's part of the learning process, especially facing specialist left-handers.

"The starters in the big leagues are the best in the world," Sveum said. "When you're playing in this game, you make adjustments here and there. More important, the experience alone is the valuable thing in all of this -- it's the experience you gain going into the rest of your career."

Extra bases

• Albert Almora, the Cubs' first-round pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft, made the most of his pro debut on Monday, hitting a home run in his first game. Almora was playing for Mesa in the Rookie League and hit a two-run shot in the fifth.

Jorge Soler, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year contract with the team in June, hit his first home run on Sunday.

"Not a bad start," Sveum said.