Biographical

Portrait of Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster PCubs

Cubs Player Cards | Cubs Team Audit | Cubs Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years G IP W L SV ERA WARP
19 579 2387 132 133 87 4.35 25.9
Birth Date5-3-1977
Height6' 2"
Weight215 lbs
Age42 years, 7 months, 6 days
BatsR
ThrowsR
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA- WARP
1998 FLO MLB 14 11 54.7 1 5 0 72 38 35 6 94 11.9 6.3 1.0 5.8 0% .359 2.01 5.79 7.08 122 7.52 155.8 -1.0
1999 FLO MLB 25 25 147.0 7 8 0 146 93 126 21 95 8.9 5.7 1.3 7.7 0% .298 1.63 5.23 4.71 106 5.59 108.7 1.1
2000 FLO MLB 33 33 226.3 14 10 0 210 97 209 30 107 8.4 3.9 1.2 8.3 0% .284 1.36 4.28 3.66 87 3.80 73.1 5.9
2001 FLO MLB 34 34 211.3 15 12 0 218 112 171 21 98 9.3 4.8 0.9 7.3 0% .308 1.56 4.41 4.94 102 5.33 110.5 1.2
2002 CIN 0 15 15 88.7 5 5 0 102 38 66 16 106 10.4 3.9 1.6 6.7 0% .317 1.58 5.11 6.19 110 6.61 141.9 -1.0
2002 FLO 0 18 18 120.3 5 8 0 126 55 87 12 98 9.4 4.1 0.9 6.5 0% .317 1.50 4.27 4.79 102 5.58 119.6 0.1
2003 CIN MLB 22 20 115.7 3 7 0 134 70 84 14 103 10.4 5.4 1.1 6.5 0% .323 1.76 5.04 6.54 114 6.60 138.4 -1.1
2004 CHN MLB 23 0 20.7 1 1 2 16 13 18 1 96 7.0 5.7 0.4 7.8 0% .254 1.40 4.01 3.92 101 4.76 98.2 0.2
2005 CHN MLB 63 6 92.0 5 3 33 83 49 89 4 104 8.1 4.8 0.4 8.7 0% .310 1.43 3.34 3.13 86 3.42 73.6 2.2
2006 CHN MLB 74 0 75.0 1 9 24 77 36 67 5 97 9.2 4.3 0.6 8.0 0% .312 1.51 3.74 4.80 90 3.84 78.2 1.5
2007 CHN MLB 66 0 66.7 2 7 28 59 30 55 8 103 8.0 4.1 1.1 7.4 0% .271 1.34 4.47 4.73 100 4.30 89.0 0.9
2008 CHN MLB 33 33 206.7 17 6 0 174 76 187 14 106 7.6 3.3 0.6 8.1 0% .280 1.21 3.37 2.96 88 3.51 74.8 4.7
2009 CHN MLB 31 31 200.0 11 9 0 196 65 172 22 97 8.8 2.9 1.0 7.7 0% .302 1.31 3.82 3.65 94 3.81 81.6 4.0
2010 CHN MLB 34 34 215.3 15 12 0 198 86 208 25 97 8.3 3.6 1.0 8.7 0% .294 1.32 4.01 3.85 95 3.97 89.8 3.3
2011 CHN MLB 34 34 202.3 10 14 0 211 82 191 23 102 9.4 3.6 1.0 8.5 0% .324 1.45 3.87 4.80 93 4.10 95.4 2.3
2012 CHN 0 16 16 104.0 5 5 0 81 27 83 9 99 7.0 2.3 0.8 7.2 0% .242 1.04 3.46 2.25 97 3.67 84.2 1.8
2012 TEX 0 12 12 69.0 7 3 0 74 25 70 10 103 9.7 3.3 1.3 9.1 0% .330 1.43 4.02 5.09 98 4.38 100.4 0.6
2013 BOS MLB 32 29 171.3 8 9 0 170 79 157 26 103 8.9 4.1 1.4 8.2 0% .296 1.45 4.70 4.57 117 5.26 126.0 -0.7
2002 TOT MLB 33 33 209.0 10 13 0 228 93 153 28 101 9.8 4.0 1.2 6.6 0% .000 1.54 4.63 5.38 105 6.02 129.1 -0.9
2012 TOT MLB 28 28 173.0 12 8 0 155 52 153 19 100 8.1 2.7 1.0 8.0 0% .000 1.20 3.69 3.38 98 3.95 90.6 2.5
CareerMLB5793512387.0132133872347107120752671018.84.01.07.849%.3011.434.214.35994.6098.725.9

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg LG G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA-
1995 HUD A- NYP 1 1 5.7 1 0 0 7 1 6 0 11.1 1.6 0.0 9.5 0% .000 1.40 1.87 3.16 0 0.00 0.0
1996 CSC A SAL 23 23 144.3 7 11 0 120 58 141 13 7.5 3.6 0.8 8.8 0% .000 1.23 3.72 3.31 0 0.00 0.0
1996 KNC A MDW 4 4 26.3 2 1 0 18 18 18 0 6.2 6.2 0.0 6.2 0% .000 1.37 4.12 2.74 0 0.00 0.0
1997 BRV A+ FSL 28 26 165.3 10 9 0 190 46 131 19 10.3 2.5 1.0 7.1 0% .334 1.43 4.21 4.90 0 0.00 0.0
1998 FLO MLB NL 14 11 54.7 1 5 0 72 38 35 6 94 11.9 6.3 1.0 5.8 0% .359 2.01 5.79 7.08 122 7.52 155.8
1998 PME AA EAS 7 7 44.7 4 3 0 34 15 33 8 6.8 3.0 1.6 6.6 0% -.464 1.10 5.05 3.22 0 0.00 0.0
1998 CHR AAA INT 5 5 33.0 3 1 0 33 12 24 4 9.0 3.3 1.1 6.5 0% -.707 1.36 4.58 3.27 0 0.00 0.0
1999 FLO MLB NL 25 25 147.0 7 8 0 146 93 126 21 95 8.9 5.7 1.3 7.7 0% .298 1.63 5.23 4.71 106 5.59 108.7
1999 CLG AAA PCL 5 5 30.7 1 1 0 30 10 29 6 8.8 2.9 1.8 8.5 0% -.522 1.30 5.35 4.98 0 0.00 0.0
2000 FLO MLB NL 33 33 226.3 14 10 0 210 97 209 30 107 8.4 3.9 1.2 8.3 0% .284 1.36 4.28 3.66 87 3.80 73.1
2001 FLO MLB NL 34 34 211.3 15 12 0 218 112 171 21 98 9.3 4.8 0.9 7.3 0% .308 1.56 4.41 4.94 102 5.33 110.5
2002 CIN MLB NL 15 15 88.7 5 5 0 102 38 66 16 106 10.4 3.9 1.6 6.7 0% .317 1.58 5.11 6.19 110 6.61 141.9
2002 FLO MLB NL 18 18 120.3 5 8 0 126 55 87 12 98 9.4 4.1 0.9 6.5 0% .317 1.50 4.27 4.79 102 5.58 119.6
2003 CIN MLB NL 22 20 115.7 3 7 0 134 70 84 14 103 10.4 5.4 1.1 6.5 0% .323 1.76 5.04 6.54 114 6.60 138.4
2003 LOU AAA INT 2 2 13.7 1 1 0 13 3 9 1 8.5 2.0 0.7 5.9 0% .286 1.17 3.58 3.28 0 0.00 0.0
2004 CHN MLB NL 23 0 20.7 1 1 2 16 13 18 1 96 7.0 5.7 0.4 7.8 0% .254 1.40 4.01 3.92 101 4.76 98.2
2004 LNS A MDW 5 5 18.3 0 0 0 20 2 21 0 9.8 1.0 0.0 10.3 0% .377 1.20 1.66 1.97 0 0.00 0.0
2004 IOW AAA PCL 6 4 21.0 1 1 0 19 10 20 1 8.1 4.3 0.4 8.6 0% .316 1.38 3.93 3.86 0 0.00 0.0
2005 CHN MLB NL 63 6 92.0 5 3 33 83 49 89 4 104 8.1 4.8 0.4 8.7 0% .310 1.43 3.34 3.13 86 3.42 73.6
2006 CHN MLB NL 74 0 75.0 1 9 24 77 36 67 5 97 9.2 4.3 0.6 8.0 0% .312 1.51 3.74 4.80 90 3.84 78.2
2007 CHN MLB NL 66 0 66.7 2 7 28 59 30 55 8 103 8.0 4.1 1.1 7.4 0% .271 1.34 4.47 4.73 100 4.30 89.0
2007 IOW AAA PCL 2 1 2.0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 120 4.5 4.5 0.0 18.0 0% .333 1.00 1.03 0.00 64 2.13 43.7
2008 CHN MLB NL 33 33 206.7 17 6 0 174 76 187 14 106 7.6 3.3 0.6 8.1 0% .280 1.21 3.37 2.96 88 3.51 74.8
2009 CHN MLB NL 31 31 200.0 11 9 0 196 65 172 22 97 8.8 2.9 1.0 7.7 0% .302 1.31 3.82 3.65 94 3.81 81.6
2010 CHN MLB NL 34 34 215.3 15 12 0 198 86 208 25 97 8.3 3.6 1.0 8.7 0% .294 1.32 4.01 3.85 95 3.97 89.8
2011 CHN MLB NL 34 34 202.3 10 14 0 211 82 191 23 102 9.4 3.6 1.0 8.5 0% .324 1.45 3.87 4.80 93 4.10 95.4
2012 CHN MLB NL 16 16 104.0 5 5 0 81 27 83 9 99 7.0 2.3 0.8 7.2 0% .242 1.04 3.46 2.25 97 3.67 84.2
2012 TEX MLB AL 12 12 69.0 7 3 0 74 25 70 10 103 9.7 3.3 1.3 9.1 0% .330 1.43 4.02 5.09 98 4.38 100.4
2013 BOS MLB AL 32 29 171.3 8 9 0 170 79 157 26 103 8.9 4.1 1.4 8.2 0% .296 1.45 4.70 4.57 117 5.26 126.0

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr%
2008 3229 0.4782 0.4546 0.7371 0.6244 0.2991 0.8496 0.5218 0.2629
2009 3121 0.4659 0.4450 0.7336 0.5894 0.3191 0.8576 0.5338 0.2664
2010 3550 0.4572 0.4406 0.7270 0.6094 0.2984 0.8493 0.5165 0.2730
2011 3478 0.4888 0.4526 0.7764 0.6029 0.3088 0.8615 0.6175 0.2236
2012 2745 0.4765 0.4561 0.7508 0.6047 0.3208 0.8496 0.5813 0.2492
2013 2991 0.4376 0.4363 0.7571 0.6173 0.2955 0.8502 0.6056 0.2429
Career191140.46760.44740.74690.60800.30660.85310.56180.2531

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2012-06-16 2012-07-08 15-DL 22 20 Right Shoulder Strain Latissimus Dorsi - -
2012-04-18 2012-05-03 15-DL 15 13 Right Thigh Strain Quadriceps - -
2011-06-30 2011-07-09 DTD 9 9 - Back Soreness - -
2011-06-08 2011-06-08 DTD 0 0 Right Hip Soreness -
2009-07-03 2009-07-28 15-DL 25 21 Right Fracture Big Toe -
2009-05-30 2009-05-30 DTD 0 0 Right Fingers Blister Middle Finger -
2007-06-23 2007-07-20 15-DL 27 22 Left Abdomen Strain Oblique -
2004-04-04 2004-08-01 60-DL 119 104 Right Elbow Recovery From Surgery Tommy John Surgery and Bone Chip 2003-08-04
2003-07-29 2003-09-29 15-DL 62 57 Right Elbow Surgery Tommy John Surgery and Bone Chip 2003-08-04
2003-05-23 2003-06-07 15-DL 15 13 Neck Nerve Injury Pinched Nerve -
2003-05-09 2003-05-10 DTD 1 1 Neck Nerve Injury Pinched Nerve -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2014 BOS $
2013 BOS $13,250,000
2012 CHN $14,000,000
2011 CHN $14,500,000
2010 CHN $13,500,000
2009 CHN $9,000,000
2008 CHN $7,333,333
2007 CHN $5,333,333
2006 CHN $4,333,333
2005 CHN $2,000,000
2004 CHN $300,000
2003 CIN $3,250,000
2002 FLO $2,475,000
2001 FLO $400,000
2000 FLO $268,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
14 yrPrevious$89,942,999
14 yrTotal$89,942,999

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
15 y 63 dCraig Landis2 years/$26.5M (2013-14)

Details
  • 2 years/$26.5M (2013-14). Signed by Boston as a free agent 12/12. 13:$13.25M, 14:$13.25M. Annual performance bonus: $0.25M for 190 innings pitched. Placed on restricted list 2/22/14 (taking 2014 off). Retired 10/8/14.
  • 4 years/$52M (2009-12). Re-signed by Chicago Cubs as a free agent 11/18/08. $4M signing bonus. 09:$8M, 10:$12.5M, 11:$13.5M, 12:$14M player option. Dempster exercised 2012 player option 10/29/11. Acquired by Texas in trade from Chicago Cubs 7/31/12.
  • 3 years/$15.5M (2006-08). Signed extension with Chicago Cubs 9/05. $1M signing bonus. 06:$4M, 07:$5M, 08:$5.5M. Up to $3M in performance bonuses.
  • 1 year/$0.5M (2004), plus 2005 club option. Signed by Chicago Cubs as a free agent 1/04. 05: $2M club option, $0.2M buyout. Cubs exercised 2005 option 10/04.
  • 1 year/$3.25M (2003). Re-signed by Cincinnati 1/03 (avoided arbitration). Released 11/03.
  • 1 year/$2.475M (2002). Re-signed 1/02 (avoided arbitration). Acquired by Cincinnati in trade from Florida 1/02.
  • 1 year/$0.4M (2001). Re-signed by Florida 3/01.
  • 1 year/$0.268M (2000). Re-signed by Florida 3/00.
  • 1 year/$0.202M (1999). Re-signed by Florida 3/99.
  • Acquired by Florida in trade from Texas 8/96.
  • Drafted by Texas 1995 (3-66) (Elphinstone HS, Gibsons, BC).

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

PCT W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR BABIP WHIP ERA DRA VORP WARP
Weighted Mean?????0.0?00?.0000.000.00?0.00.0

Comparable Players (Similarity Index )

Rank Score Name Year Run Average Trend

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2015 You can't predict baseball, but maybe Ryan Dempster can: He elected not to partake in the train wreck that was Boston's 2014 season, spending the entire year on the restricted list in a state of quasi-retirement.
2014 Dempster's 2013 was spoiled by an on-again, off-again groin injury, but he did his job for a Red Sox squad that, while flush with young pitching, was lacking in prepared young pitching. Dempster held on in the rotation for 29 starts even as he pitched just a hair of above replacement level. That sounds dire, but consider that it allowed Allen Webster and his bloated ERA to head back to Rhode Island, limited time spent with the Steven Wright Knuckleball Experience and let the team move Brandon Workman to the bullpen after the trade deadline while using Dempster as the bridge to the return of Clay Buchholz. Granted, Dempster's $13 million price tag was high for a security blanket, but sometimes what you need in a relationship is for the other person just to be there.
2013 After more than 14 seasons in the National League, Dempster announced his presence in the AL last summer with a rocky 12-start stint for Texas. He’ll be staying in the junior circuit after signing a two-year deal with Boston this offseason. One of baseball’s more reliable pitchers since rejoining the starting ranks in 2008, Dempster logged 200-plus innings in four consecutive seasons until notching just under 180 frames last year. Despite his struggles in Texas, the righty had one of his better seasons. Entering his age-36 campaign, he has yet to show signs of slowing down. Although he doesn’t overwhelm with velocity—mostly working at 88-92 mph—he consistently posts strikeout rates north of 20 percent. There’s some concern that Dempster’s numbers will suffer in a full season in the AL and Fenway, but expect a reliable mid-rotation starting pitcher.
2012 With a winsome personality and a sense of humor, Dempster has managed to remain above most of the blame-tossing in Chicago despite results short of his paychecks, spats with his manager, and a self-inflicted injury in 2009 that cost him playing time. His velocity was down a tick in 2011, but the big jump in ERA wasn't really his fault—as shown by both his FIP and FRA—and the Cubs wasted no time picking up his $14 million option for 2012. Though he walks too many to front a rotation, Dempster's committed to his craft, mixing pitches and pitch sequences to support his two fastballs and nasty slider. All indications are that he'll be good enough and durable enough to rack up 200 innings again.
2011 Dempster's transmogrification from former blue-chip Marlin to damaged goods to expensive closer to beloved Cub workhorse ought to be enough of a roller coaster to challenge the notion that American lives have no third act. The late-career addition of a fluttering glove flip when he's pitching from a full windup gives a new generation of Cubs fans one of those lovely idiosyncrasies to forever retain in their mind's eye, like Rick Sutcliffe's big, rolling wrist snap, or Lee Smith's saunter, or Turk Wendell's endless rituals. At this stage, there's little you don't already know about Dempster. Although he posted a career-best strikeout rate, his season can come across as somewhat mediocre, right down to a .500 support-neutral winning percentage. However, he was undercut by some of the bullpen's issues, as he suffered three blown quality starts after the first six innings; using three runs and six frames as the standard, he delivered a winnable ballgame in 23 of 34 turns.
2010 There was some understandable hand-wringing when the Cubs inked Dempster to a four-year, $52 million deal after his first healthy and effective season in a major-league rotation since the Clinton administration, but so far, so good. The affable Canuck logged 200 innings (pausing only for a broken toe), saw small reductions in his strikeout and walk rates, let a few more fly balls leave the yard, lost a smidge of velocity, got more mileage out of his slider, and generally duplicated his 2008 production. There is likely to be some settling of contents as Dempster enters his mid-30s, but nothing he did this year raises any warning flags, and as he’s currently outperforming his contract, some future lack of production has already been paid for. With Zambrano’s health and headspace in question, Lilly entering his walk year with a fresh scar on his shoulder, and Wells' future an open question, Dempster is clearly the rotation’s anchor, if not its ace. Who would have predicted that three years ago?
2009 Teams get so worked up over exotic items like pitching imports from Japan or Cuba, but if you prefer to shop domestic, is there anything that inspires more jibber-jabbery enthusiasm than Marlins moundsmen? Big-game Fish-ing has made hurlers like Carl Pavano, Dontrelle Willis, Kevin Brown, and A.J. Burnett rich beyond their wildest dreams of avarice, but not one of them has topped their single best professional seasons, all of which were made in Marlins uniforms. Last year, though, Dempster managed to become just the second high-profile former Fish to exceed his best year in Miami (as per SNLVAR), and where Josh Beckett's '07 with the Red Sox was a predictable bit of blossoming by the youngster, Dempster's long and winding road back from surgery and failure and relief-work and wildness is a bit more inspiring. The move back into the rotation after years of bullpen work was a risk, but Dempster held up well, and he didn't even lose significant velocity starting; if anything he simplified his repertoire instead of expanding it, relying on pounding the zone with his fastball and moving it around. Re-signed for four years and $52 million, he might yet be cause for Pavano or Willis-like heartburn, but compared to the non-Sabathias on the market, it seems a reasonable risk that the years in the pen will give Dempster the durability to deliver on that deal. Add in an above replacement-level Harry Caray impression and the new, distinctive, distracting glove flip in his delivery, and Dempster has made himself a popular player on a sports scene that loves a bit of personality.
2008 A closer by assignment only, Dempster may not even be that for much longer. He has experienced a steady decline in his groundball rates over the past three seasons which, coupled with command that was never very good to begin with, has rendered him an unreliable ninth-inning option. The Cubs are considering trying him in the rotation, which might not be the worst idea; his PECOTA as a starter includes a 4.78 ERA and sees his VORP improves slightly from the 8.2 above to 10.9.
2007 It wasn`t just that he blew nine saves, but how he blew them. Other pitchers who blow a save might give up a run, allowing the other team to tie, then vulture a win out of it when their team comes back. Not Dempster--when he blew a save last year, it tended to stay blown. The Cubs lost seven of those nine games; Dempster took all seven losses, giving up 19 runs, but the two times he blew a save giving up just one run, the Cubs came back to win. Dempster had 17 appearances in which he gave up two or more runs; Brad Lidge had an awful year, and he had only nine. Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and B. J. Ryan had 10 combined. Jon Papelbon only had one month in which he gave up two runs. Dempster`s hold on the closer`s job is only as strong as Kerry Wood`s shoulder is weak.
2006 If you remember the Transformers toy craze of the `80s, you might also remember that most of the transformations were pretty lame. If you`ve got a killer, attack missile-equipped giant cyborg, what possible advantage do you gain from disguising it as a giant robotic space puppy? The element of surprise? Baker`s exercise in vanity--trying to transform Dempster into a starter again--was the equivalent of taking a great weapon and folding it into a useless shape. After six starts and a 5.35 ERA, Dempster went back to the pen, where he cranked out one of the best Cub relief seasons ever. Intriguingly, it wasn`t his strikeout rate that improved but his GB/FB ratio, which he basically doubled to better than 3-1 in relief. The Cubs let his success go to their heads; it isn`t the money ($15.5 million) that`s as troubling as the length. Do they really expect Dempster to pitch three full seasons?
2005 Any time a pitcher returns from Tommy John surgery, it's a good thing. The Cubs seem to have done well for themselves in the deal they signed with Dempster, which included one cheap guaranteed year and a team option, a strategy that paid dividends this year with Jon Lieber and Chris Carpenter. The trouble is that Dempster, when healthy, was not as good a pitcher as Lieber or Carpenter; his resume included just one above-average season (2000), a year in which he still walked 97 hitters and gave up 30 homers in Pro Player Stadium. The usual rap against a pitcher recovering from Tommy John is that his velocity will come back before his command. It's hard to tell if that's the case with Dempster, since his command was never there to begin with. As a power righty out of the bullpen, he might do enough to justify the $2 million that the Cubs are paying him this year, but he's unlikely to do more than that, and he's ill-equipped for a high-leverage role.
2004 Credit the Marlins with trading Dempster, who threw a ton of pitches in 2000 and 2001, at the right time. Dempster was about to get expensive and they had better pitchers coming. Juan Encarnacion has been a league-average right fielder for them, while Dempster gave the Reds 35 starts with an ERA of 6.39 before Tommy John surgery ended his time in Cincinnati. He's been released, and is unlikely to pitch in the majors in 2004. Moving Dempster is just one of many good moves Larry Beinfest made on his way to a championship.
2003 Swags don’t get much sweeter than Bowden’s mid-season flip of $2.4 million worth of Juan Encarnacion and Wilton Guerrero for a legitimate power arm. Dempster’s mechanics were a mess when he arrived from Jeff Torborg’s Chamber of Slag. By the end of the season, Gullett had lowered his leg kick and lengthened his delivery, which helped keep his fastball down and put some bite back on his slider. The Reds aren’t always penurious with their money; although Dempster is eligible for arbitration, they’re committed to seeing if he can be the top-of-the-rotation starter they desperately need.
2002 Dempster wasn't right all year, fighting his control even during his periods of relative effectiveness. He was particularly bad in September and October, an indication that the number of pitches his wildness had forced him to throw—he ranked 14th in the majors in Pitcher Abuse Points—had taken its toll. If he makes 25 starts in 2002, it'll be an upset. One of the arguments for signing Charles Johnson was his impact on the Marlins' young rotation. Given the performances of Dempster, Burnett, Clement, and Chuck Smith, it's hard to see where he had any positive impact. None of the pitchers showed improvement in 2001. This doesn't mean Johnson was a negative; it just means there's no evidence that his "veteran leadership" helped these pitchers.
2001 The youngest survivor of the 1998 Leyland Massacre, Ryan Dempster has been able to put the atrocities he witnessed and suffered behind him and is climbing into the upper echelon of major-league starters. A strenuous off-season regimen added a few mph to Dempster's low-90s four-seam fastball, along with the strength and stamina to maintain his stuff deeper into games. He also improved his command of his fastball and vicious slider, slicing his walk rate by nearly two a game. While Felipe Alou likens Dempster to Curt Schilling, let’s hope that we won’t be seeing any similarities between his workloads and those meted out by Terry Francona.
2000 To his credit, he bounced back from a 1998 in which he was rushed to the majors as part of the Marlins’ Pitcher-Eating Program. Dempster doesn’t have exceptional stuff, but he can be a placeholder while the real pitchers develop, hopefully picking up some trade value along the way. See Meadows, Brian.
1999 Clearly wasn’t ready, and rushing him up was one of the most unfortunate of the various live sacrifices made in ‘98. What’s strange about it is that his assortment isn’t even that good. It doesn’t look like he throws that hard, and tossing him into the fire at the first sign of success was thoughtless.
1998 The other pitcher acquired from Texas for Bobby Witt. He’s got the kind of live arm the Marlins love to collect in trade, but his fastball hasn’t developed a bite to it yet, and he’s still quite hittable. Only 21, a couple of years away, worth keeping an eye on.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2014-05-29 19:30:00 (link to chat)The Red Sox still technically have Ryan Dempster under contract, right? The rotation is going to be PawSox rotation soon. I mean Peavy is balking.
(Dylan from MA)
No, Dempster is semi-retired. I don't know exactly how it works off the top of my head, but he's not in the Sox organization anymore. Workman is already up and I believe Webster or RDLR is starting tomorrow. Peavy doesn't look great, but he'll get more time to figure it out. (Ben Carsley)
2013-10-07 18:00:00 (link to chat)Do you have any good under the radar/ bounceback SPs to target in keeper leagues?
(Brandon from Missouri )
R.A. Dickey had a stronger second half and seemed to adjust to the American League Post All Star. He won't do what he did with the Mets, but is a decent option next year. Ian Kennedy struggled all year, but a full year at Petco will definitely help. Ryan Dempster was terrible for the Red Sox, but a change of scenery could help. His high whiff rate makes him valuable in fantasy even if the other stats don't coalesce. (Mike Gianella)
2013-02-27 20:00:00 (link to chat)Ryan Dempster, returning to his numbers in the NL or is he more likely to resemble the mess he was in Texas ?
(Grinder from Boston)
Closer to what he did in the NL. Texas isn't an easy place to pitch, and I suspect the program they have over there with their pitchers is easier to implement in Spring Training than it is mid-season. (Mike Gianella)
2013-02-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Shouldn't we be looking more at salary as a major insight into comparing how good two players are going to be? There are probably better examples, but lots of fancy peripheral stats show that Joe Blanton is better than Ryan Dempster. Yet Dempter signed for $26.5 mil./2 yrs. while Blanton only signed for $15 mil./2 yrs. Well, that's all the stats I need, right?
(John Carter from Dual: U.S.-Canadian)
Huh. That's ... actually ... very intriguing. Tango has pointed out a few times how Vegas is the best projection system. Might be some aspect of that with player salaries, if we could isolate the numbers from some of the distorting effects of timing, team need, etc. (Sam Miller)
2013-01-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who's a good buy-low MLB regular for SP this season?
(Sara from Tacoma)
I'll give you a few to cater to leagues of a variety of sizes. Hisashi Iwakuma is a sleeper I like a great deal. His high groundball percentage will help him in the transition to Safeco's new ballpark dimensions. Brett Anderson was impressive in his brief return to the hill at the end of last year and is currently a draft value at his current draft position in Mock Draft Central mocks. A few ugly starts to begin Ryan Dempster's time with the Rangers seem to have driven down his value. He'll be fine pitching in Boston and remains an undervalued starter. Chris Tillman enjoyed his first taste of success in the majors last year. He's not as good as his sub-3.00 ERA suggests, but some backlash from those looking at the peripherals may make him a value in AL-only in deep mixed leagues. I think he's capable of improving his underlying stats and staving off some of the regression that would otherwise come from him pitching at the same level this year. (Josh Shepardson)
2012-07-25 13:30:00 (link to chat)As a Nationals fan, I hope that Ryan Dempster's refusal to join the Braves is an omen for disappointments in Atlanta for the rest of the season. However, if I were a Braves fan, would you think that I should be upset or relieved that the trade of Randall Delgado didn't go through?
(HalfStreet from Fairfax VA)
I analyzed the Dempster deal that now looks like it probably won't happen a couple days ago. My opinion was that Delgado wouldn't have been too high a price to pay, considering the stakes and Delgado's mid-rotation ceiling. That said, while a desire to keep Delgado might not have made sense as a reason not to pull the trigger, it certainly makes sense as a reason to be relieved that the deal didn't go through. (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)My pitchers include Madson, Putz, Moore, Scherzer and Beachy. At the auction are Halladay, Greinke, Hamels, Dan Hudson, Felix, CJ Wilson, CC, Lester, Gallardo and Strasburg. I have plenty of money - who do you think is the best complement to what I have on hand?
(Kyran from Albany, NY)
That's a solid core, so grabbing a guy like Hamels, Greinke, or Gallardo could be enough if you add one or two more guys in the Scherzer/Beachy area, a Ryan Dempster or Ted Lilly type. (Derek Carty)
2010-03-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Looking for all the help I can get, who should I keep in a non strikeout fantasy league, Jered Weaver or Ryan Dempster? Also, what's your best guess for how Andy LaRoche does this year? Thanks!
(Adam from Rochester)
Jered Weaver, definitely. LaRoche will be better, I'll say .270-15-65. (John Perrotto)
2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Tom Gorzelanny has a chance to succeed with the Cubs?
(Kevin from Chicago)
Yes. All sorts of people can use a change of scenery, and if all they want is for him to succeed in relief, he can do that. The question is, could he return to his former promise as a starter, and there, it'll be interesting to see. Things turned out much better with Ryan Dempster than almost anybody expected, after all. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-02-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bryan, have you picked up on Jim Hendry's fondness for Notre Dame players? I'm wondering if you think it's beginning to cloud his judgment (i.e. the acquisition of Aaron Heilman)?
(Shane from Bucktown)
I brought this up to Paul Mainieri -- coach of LSU, former coach of Notre Dame, who was with the Irish when Heilman and Samardzija and Grant Johnson and the rest went there. Mainieri laughed, and reminded that the connection runs deeper: Paul and Ryan Dempster are still good friends since Dempster committed to ND (ultimately choosing pro ball out of high school), and infields Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are LSU grads, both of whom Mainieri has become friendly with. Don't be surprised if the Cubs draft a LSU player or two in the upcoming draft ... it's always been a fondness for Mainieri moreso than for Notre Dame. (Bryan Smith)
2008-11-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Everyone talks about players getting huge contracts and regressing, but look at a player like Ryan Dempster. He does not seem to be the type of personality to stop working hard, the same likely cannot be siad for KRod or Burnett, for example. Agreed?
(Goose from Chicago)
You think it's about not working hard? Ok. No, I disagree. (Will Carroll)
2008-08-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster, and Ted Lilly all disagree that the Cubs are in trouble if Zambrano isn't pitching Game 1.
(jklein from TP)
That Harden trade just looks brilliant right now, doesn't it? But does that rotation really scare opposing hitters? Harden can be lights out, Dempster's going to get Cy votes, and Lilly's a good lefty, but it's not Webb-Haren-Johnson. It's not Shields-Garza-Kazmir, at least for dominance. It's not Beckett-Lester-Matsuzaka. It's not Sabathia-Sheets-whoever. (Will Carroll)
2008-07-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think the innings will take a toll on Ryan Dempster? He look great yesterday and showed no signs of slowing down. Big innings jump tho!
(Steve from Chicago)
It is a big jump, but he's older and is moving from relieving, which doesn't seem to be as big an issue. I have no idea why, other than the theoretical "innings multiplier." (Will Carroll)
2008-06-23 12:00:00 (link to chat)Any concerns about Ryan Dempster in the second half? It's been some time since he's pitched a full season, and he's also pitching out of his mind right now. What do you expect out of him the rest of the year?
(dmandell from Portland)
Well, he certainly looks set up for a fall just because the innings are piling up. I will say this, Dempster is in the best shape of his career. He really worked hard in the winter to prepare for a much heavier workload. However, it's a lot to ask a guy to increase his innings pitched by as much as Dempster will be ask. I think there will certainly some regression. (John Perrotto)
2008-06-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)Are you skeptical about Ryan Dempster's hot start? He appears to have the "stuff" to perform as a high-level starter, but some of her peripheral stats are a bit alarming.
(mlochi from san francisco, ca)
Early on, his K/W ratio wasn't great and his BABIP was so low that you worried about it leveling off. But his K/W has gotten better, so I'm encouraged. He's been fantastic and if it continues, it's a huge boost for this rotation. He came into the season in fantastic physical shape and was really committed to making this work. I've been very impressed. (Len Kasper)
2008-05-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Joe, thanks for the chat. Why is Ryan Dempster pitching so well as a starter when he was not too good in relief?
(jtrichey from Indianapolis)
He became a groundball pitcher when he was converted to the bullpen, and he's retained that trait as a starter. That's the single biggest reason for his current success. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)WOOOOO Baseball! BP2k8 arrived on Tuesday. There's a full slate of spring games, including a start by Ryan Dempster. How Psyched are you for the new season?
(Henry from Chicago)
Very. In a lot of ways, this might be the bestest spring ever. There's a lot of internal sentiment that this might be our best edition of the annual yet, I expect that I'm going to see some Cactus League action, and I'm back in the best city in the country, the one we're both in. If the Sox are doing a Dog Day, I can't wait to take the dingo to a ballgame, although I can't say for certain if my favorite Cubs fan would set foot in New Comisk^H^H^H^Hthe Cell and come with. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-02-25 12:00:00 (link to chat)In 03 when the Cubs were 5 outs from the World Series, it was believed that they had one of the best minor league systems in addition to a pretty good major league team, but within a couple of years both the major league team and the minor league system were in disarray. I know they made the playoffs last year and have a decent chance this year, but have you ever seen another organization fall so far so fast?
(Jim from Wrigley Field)
I feel your pain, Jim, I'm a fellow Cubs fan. I was at the Prior-Maddux start that postseason, and I was heart broken when they didn't win it. But I'm not sure I agree that they've fallen too far -- I mean, what are they, one of about 3 teams likely to win the NL pennant? Obviously the farm system has a ways to go, but Wilken is the right guy in place to do it. And there is a lot of youth on that roster -- Soto, Pie, Hill, Marmol -- from that 2003 minor league system. They've done a nice job, but I'll say this: Ryan Dempster needs to be right. (Bryan Smith)
2008-01-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)The back end of the Cubs rotation... You have two duds (Marquis, Dempster), the aging prodigal son (Lieber) , the youngster in Lou's doghouse (Marshall), and the unproven guys (Gallagher, Kevin Hart, maybe even Neil Cotts or Samardjiza but unlikely). Who should win and who will win out the last two spots?
(Hank from Lincoln Park)
First, let's take Jeff Samardjiza out of the discussion. He's more likely to be the Bears' flanker next year than the Cubs' fifth starter. Out of that group, I actually sort of like Ryan Dempster, and I think Jon Lieber should be perfectly adequate. (Nate Silver)
2008-01-17 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is there any reason to be happy about having Jon Lieber vying for a spot in the Cubs rotation? Should I just be happy that the Cubs don't have to fret over saving the three million or so Lieber could earn this year? Cortisol leads to unsightly belly fat after all.
(Brian Gallagher from Evanston, IL)
I sort of touch on this in the TA that just went live--it'll still be there when we wrap up in a few hours ;) --but the nicest thing to say is that it gives them depth, and it might spare them from having to take the experiment of returning Ryan Dempster to a rotation all that far. My disappointment is that Lieber's upside is pretty minimal, and he's no more the right answer to that question over who starts a fourth game in a postseason than Marquis was (and is). (Christina Kahrl)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2008-10-02 11:00:00Thursday Playoff GamesRyan Dempster's off the hook. *That's* the worst pitch of the postseason.
(Joe Sheehan)
 

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