Send Dempster the Pen...Enter "The PENSTER"

When Buchholz finally returns from his DL slot, why not put Dempster in the bullpen to fortify the RHR cadre?

The Japanese Duo of  Koji Uehara as closer and Junichi Tazawa as setup man has performed yeoman service and the Sox pen is well-stocked with lefties [Thornton/Breslow/Morales], but with the promising, but green, righties, De La Rosa and Workman, the Sox lack a veteran righty to back up The Koji and Junichi Show.

And, yes, Dempster hasn’t pitched as a reliever since 2007, he rang up 85 SVs from 2005-2007 for the Cubs and in 2006 he led the NL with 64 Games Finished.  But, at 26, he has already clocked 151.2 innings this season and the best use of his remaining gas in the tank may be to be a spot or situational RHR.

Buchholz, with his velocity picking up and his secondary stuff jelling, will make his next start Wednesday for the PawSox, as they open up the first round of their playoffs on the road. Farrell said Buchholz will throw around 70 pitches or four-to-five innings.

“I think more than anything he’s starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,”

Current rotation order:

Since the Red Sox have a scheduled off day on Monday, September 9th and with Buchholz pitching on Thursday, it will give him five days rest leading up to a Tuesday start to kick off a three-game set against Tampa Bay–the final meeting of the teams this season.

When Buchholz [9-0, 1.71] returns, he will likely resume the #1 slot and Dempster would be the odd man out with Doubront balancing the rotation as a second LHP.

Recall:  Cherington passed on Kevin Gregg [Cubs, 3.17 ERA, 28 SVs] and Matt Lindstrom [White Sox, .583 OPS], and also traded Mark Melancon, who has blossomed with the Pirates [10 SVs, 0.88 ERA].

If Dempster becomes the odd man out of the rotation, “The PENSTER” would be a perfect fit in the pen.





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Tags: "The Penster" Bullpen Ryan Dempster

  • John Fahrer

    Dempster was a rather mediocre reliever when he was in the bullpen. Hence why they opted to convert him back into a starter. That being said: he will likely be used out of the bullpen if he’s on the postseason roster.

    But the club probably doesn’t want to pay the guy a $12.25 million salary to be a reliever/spot starter for 2013. If there’s no place for him in the Boston rotation, they’ll probably look to trade him.

    • Rick M.

      He was a failure before he was moved. His BB/9 in both slots did not make one feel warm and fuzzy about his appearance on the mound. With the Cubs he did a bit better, but now he is playing with the big boys in the AL East. IMO he is a number five starter and will, like John said, be shipped.

      He would make be quite nervous in the ‘pen.

      • John Fahrer

        Normally I’m against dealing guys just for the sake of making a deal. Chances are they won’t go all 162 games in 2014 with the tandem of Lester, Peavy, Buchholz, Doubront, and Lackey. But there’s still enough depth returning in Workman, Britton, Wright, Webster, Morales (more than likely), and DeLaRosa. Plus there’s a good chance at least two of if not all three of Barnes/Owens/Ranaudo make their big league debuts next season. So the loss of Dempster won’t exactly have the same negative ripple effect that Arroyo for Pena did back in 06. Plus they might get a helpful return for Dempster if they opt to eat most of his salary.

        • Rick M.

          My assumption would be Dempster would welcome a change. I could see him being a contributor for the right team. I wonder if SF would be interested? Nice park for him – has done well – and a team that may need a vet to lend a hand.

          • John Fahrer

            Frisco’s a possibility. Possibly San Diego as well. Pittsburgh will also be looking for a discount import with Burnett heading for free agency. Could have an advantage with being a contender, being in a park and division Dempster is familiar with, and they have an intriguing 1B prospect.

  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    didn’t he have 27 saves just a few years back?

    • John Fahrer

      28 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP back in 07. 24 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 06. 05 was his best season as a closer where he racked 33 saves with a respectable 3.13 ERA but a mediocre 1.43 WHIP. That’s not exactly a shutdown reliever.