Deceptive Dempster

Since I haven’t written in a while I figured I’d post 2 new articles today since the correspond to the same topic.

In the previous article “Wren’s Difficult Decision” I stated that the Braves needed another starting pitcher. And while there are several options on the market there is one in particular that I feel is extremely over valued and would not be worth the loss of young prospects.

Ryan Dempster is one of the hottest commodities on the trade market right now. Rightfully so right? He’s 5-3 with a 1.86era over 14 starts. So why wouldn’t he be in demand at this years trade deadline? Why wouldn’t he be a great fit for a contending team?

I have given him the nickname “Deceptive Dempster” for a reason. That reason being that his stats this year are extremely deceiving. 14 starts is a very small sample size for a guy who is 35 years old. I prefer to look at a bigger and broader picture since we are talking about a guy who is 35 not 25.

308 Career Starts / 15 seasons

A losing record: Ryan Dempster over the course of 15 major league seasons doesn’t even have an above .500 record. In 308 career starts Dempster’s record is a mediocre 117-119.

2012’s Era a Fluke? : Dempster’s life time ERA is 4.30 which is quite a bit higher then his 2012 ERA of 1.86. In fact Dempster has only pitched the tune of an ERA under 3.00 one other time in his career and that was in 2008 when he posted an ERA of 2.96.

Aging Starter: Dempster is 35 years old. Which means he has very little long term value. If he were to put together another 2-3 years of solid baseball I think that’d be pushing it. So is he really someone that you’re going to give away a lot of young talent for? Not in my opinion.

Lack of Playoff Experience: Now the argument will always come into play that teams may only use him for one year in order to make one giant push to win a World Series. Well that’s all well in good but despite his age Dempster STILL lacks playoff experience. He’s made 1 play off start in his career and that was back in 2008 also with the Cubs. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowed 4 hits and 4 runs. Not exactly stellar and yes that was only one start but that’s my entire point. I don’t care how old you are or how many regular season games you’ve pitched in there is no way to simulate October baseball under the bright lights. Dempster despite having 15 major league seasons under his belt could easily crumble under the high pressure situations that present themselves in the post season.

Pretender to Contender: Forget even making it to October will Dempster be able to handle the transition of going from a last place team to a first place team or Wild Card contender. There’s a major difference there. In Chicago he can go out there and throw strikes, very little pressure. If he has a bad outing it won’t be all over ESPN or MLB Network because the Cubs season is already over for all intensive purposes. If he makes a bad start for a playoff team it’s an entirely different situation.

So those are my reasons why Frank Wren and other GM’s should be very careful when making a deal for Ryan Dempsters.

By: Bob McVinua

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