3/18 Dempster update
Ryan Dempster only has a few things to work on: his hitting and getting his pitch count up. Dempster made his third spring start on Thursday and gave up two runs on four hits, including Manny Ramirez’s two-run homer, over four innings, in the Cubs’ 7-3 loss to the Dodgers. He threw about 70 pitches.
“For the most part, I’m throwing the ball where I want to throw it and not fighting myself,” Dempster said.
He’s always working on trying to command his fastball and approaches each Cactus League start as if he was pitching during the regular season. Dempster said his slider wasn’t quite right, so that needs work.
In his only at-bat in the second, he grounded out to the pitcher.
“I didn’t feel very good at the plate,” said a straight-faced Dempster, who may be asking hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo for some lessons.
All that’s left for Dempster to do is get his pitch count up.
“It’s easy to make pitches when you’re fresh and relaxed,” he said. “When there’s a little bit of stress, you get up in pitch count, that’s when you bear down and make pitches. I feel ready for the season.”
— Carrie Muskat