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Ryan Dempster willing to serve as playoff reliever for Red Sox

Sep 20, 2013, 10:05 AM EST

Red Sox's Dempster throws against the Blue Jays in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto Reuters

Ryan Dempster has a bunch of relief experience from early in his career and has been mediocre at best as a starter this season, so the Red Sox are thinking about shifting him to the bullpen for the playoffs.

Dempster hasn’t relieved since closing for the Cubs in 2007, but told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com:

If I was asked to go down there I could help us out in a big way. I have confidence in my ability, confidence in the mental side of it. I’ve been there before. It’s fun. It’s a totally different animal. … I’ll do whatever role they ask me to pitch in. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to grab it by the horns and run with it.

That’s a good attitude to have, although even if the Red Sox do shift Dempster to the bullpen for the playoffs it’s possible he won’t be asked to fill a high-leverage role anyway. Dempster has a 4.64 ERA and 156/78 K/BB ratio in 169 innings this season, which is pretty terrible, and in his last two seasons as a reliever (2006 and 2007) he posted a combined 4.76 ERA and 122/66 K/BB ratio in 142 innings.

Starter or reliever, if the Red Sox are forced to rely on Dempster getting key outs in the playoffs something probably went awry with their plans.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I was calling this before the season started. All the talking heads were saying how Dempster was bringing a veteran role to the Red Sox etc etc, he could really shore up the rotation. Dempster is a typical warm body starter, doesn’t do absolutely terrible but gives you a (outside) chance almost every start.

    I agree with Aaron. Definitely no high leverage situations. Hell, if things go bad quickly for a starter, Dempster is the guy you want in long relief..like a modern day Alfedo Aceves…what the hell happened to that nutbag anyway?

  2. jbriggs81 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    It surely will be a risky move to use Dempster in any tight game during the postseason. He lacks command of all his pitches….hell, it took him four pitches to even hit Arod

  3. Glenn - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Derek Lowe pitched horribly down the stretch for the Red Sox in 2004, losing his starting spot for the playoffs. He ended up the winning pitcher in all three series-clinching games on the way to the championship. You never know how play-off baseball will go.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    $13,000,000 for a middle reliever? Awesome. … can we keep throwing money at NL retreads please?

    • anotheryx - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      While you are not wrong… why ruin the fun now? There are plenty time after post season for second guessing. Also, he is the only free agent from winter, pretty all of them were highly criticized, to not really working out.

    • theskinsman - Sep 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      tfbuck, you’d bitch if you were hung with a brand new rope. Do you seriously expect every signing to be incredible? Enjoy the Sox playoff run.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 20, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        I expect common sense in huge dollar signings.

        Not too much to ask. Anyone who thought Dumpster would be decent in the AL should really have their position heavily scrutinized.

      • badintent - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        WE expected the Red Sux management not to run a chickenshit 2004 video as a tribute to the best damn reliever MLB of all time ! But I didn’t expect much from a city that couldn’t find a bunch of thugs without having the entire New York FBI Swat team come up to Boston to hunt down the bomber vermin. You’re welcome. Bill’s in the mail…. again. Pay it with some of John Henry’s bag men $$. And Bobby Valentine says thanks for paying his $3 million to do nothing too.

      • theskinsman - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:15 AM

        Who is ‘we’, troll? How about the Red Sox run the video of the last 2 series vs the stankees? Would that help your butt to hurt less? BTW, shit for brains, the first word is FEDERAL, as in the Federal Government’s investigative service. Whatever shit hole of a city they’re based in is meaningless. Enjoy watching the yankees in the playoffs…on Yankee Classics- because they sure aren’t making it this year.

  5. giantssb42champs - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    No one will be better during garbage innings than Dumpster.

  6. aceshigh11 - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Dempster was a barely serviceable fifth starter. I agree…good long reliever if the starter melts down and the game is out of reach…NOTHING high pressure.

  7. bornintoitiniowa - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Dempster was brought to this team to add a veteran presence and to take the ball every 5th game. No one knew at the start of the season what the status of the pitching staff was going to be: Lackey was coming off TJ, Buchholz has been hit-and-miss with injuries, Lester had a terrible season last year, and Doubront was still and unknown. No one could predict the turn around this team would do with their pitching staff. No one could have predicted that the Red Sox rotation would be one of the best in the game at this point in the season.

  8. j0esixpack - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Smart guy – the Sox won’t need 5 starters in the playoffs anyways… He might as well offer to fill some middle relief (hopefully that comes up often if they build up a good lead! The opposite could happen too)

    • badintent - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      He should offer to cut the grass , take out the garbage ,etc That’s what this dumpster will be doing soon enough. It’s not like he’s gonna teach high school ballers to throw 4 pitchers to hit one batter, eh. ? Deport him, he’s Canadian and a possible terrorist.He can go back to waiting tables at the Keg in Vancouver like he did his 2nd year in the bigs.

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