Red Sox pregame notes: Ryan Dempster to the bullpen; no triple lindys at Fenway
|09.20.13 at 7:50 pm ET|
In all likelihood, Ryan Dempster has made his last start of 2013 for the Red Sox. The veteran right-hander, who allowed two runs in six innings on Tuesday against the Orioles, will spend the rest of the season in the bullpen preparing for a postseason bullpen role.
Manager John Farrell said that Dempster embraced the possibility of working in relief going forward (something that Dempster expressed to WEEI.com on Thursday), and suggested that he’s shown more power on the mound in the early innings of games, something that suggests that he has a chance to impact a game out of the bullpen.
“Ryan is going to pitch out of the bullpen the remainder of the season. Had a chance to meet with him yesterday and walk through some of the scenarios that exist and he is fully on board. He’s a professional and understands it and this gives him some opportunities to adjust his routine and he’s excited and looking forward to the role,” said Farrell. “He won’t be there to be the long guy. First and foremost, we have an opportunity to get some appearances before the regular season out. Inside that we’ll have a better read on his comfort, see how his stuff potentially plays up a little bit in one or two inning stints and if that’s the case, we’ll pick our spots as we move forward.’’
Farrell said that Dempster, who served as a Cubs closer from 2005-07, will work in middle relief to get reacclimated to a bullpen role. The manager did allow that Dempster’s prior experience working in the bullpen represented a “huge advantage” as the right-hander tries to find a relief role for the postseason.
“I will say this: In games in which he’s started, you see stuff in the first and second inning as being crisp and with the potential that it ticks up a little bit from there,” said Farrell. “This move with him, in my mind, there’s some intrigue in there because there’s an ability to uptick with later action to his stuff and experience he’s had in one-inning stints, this could turn out to be a very good thing.”
In Dempster’s 29 starts this year, opponents are hitting .254/.319/.433 against him in the first two innings, as opposed to a ..256/.347/.438 line after that — a relatively modest difference. However, since the beginning of August, he’s held opponents to a .182/.292/.273 line in the game’s first two frames, compared to a .291/.364/.528 line in innings three and beyond over his eight starts.
While Dempster will likely have the time to make multiple bullpen appearances in the final eight games of the year, the same might not be true of Felix Doubront. The left-hander is scheduled to start against the Blue Jays on Sunday, suggesting that the earliest he’d be able to enter games out of the bullpen would be in the final three-game series of the season against the Orioles in Baltimore.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– The Red Sox have not decided on who will start Wednesday’s game in Colorado against the Rockies. It will either be started by one of the Sox’ younger pitchers or it might turn into something of a bullpen game to get work for a number of pitchers who need it. David Ortiz may get a start at first base during the two-game series, though Farrell had yet to finalize his thinking on the subject.
– The team still has yet to decide in what order John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester will start in Baltimore in the final weekend of the season.
– Farrell was asked if the Red Sox might follow the example set by the Dodgers on Thursday, when they clinched the NL West, and jump en masse into a pool.
“We have a swim ex, we don’t have a swimming pool,” Farrell said. “No triple lindy’s here tonight.”
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