Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’

7/21 Dodgers on hold re: Dempster

The Dodgers haven’t given up on landing Ryan Dempster, although the tone of rumors cooled noticeably Saturday. Even manager Don Mattingly seemed to be preparing himself for the deal to fall apart.

“Other teams have agendas to build or rebuild, and to put two teams together to make a deal is not as easy as it sounds,” Mattingly told reporters in New York, including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. “But if we’re in position to pick up somebody that can help, we’re going to do it.”

That said, the Dodgers still are considered by many the favorites to land Dempster. The pitcher can virtually dictate where he ends up because he has trade-veto power and he’s rumored to prefer the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with buddy Ted Lilly.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers reportedly are refusing to deal pitching prospect Zack Lee for Dempster because Dempster would essentially be a two-month rental as an upcoming free agent and the Dodgers invested $5.25 million to sign Lee in 2010.  If the Dodgers trade Lee, it more likely would be for a player the Dodgers could control beyond this year, someone like Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who won’t be a free agent until 2015. The Cubs are believed to be holding out for Lee.

– Carrie Muskat

7/21 It’s Dempster’s call

Ryan Dempster’s scoreless inning streak ended Friday while the countdown continued for how long he will remain with the Cubs. Dempster, who was being aggressively pursued by several teams prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline, served up four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings in the Cubs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. His ERA rose to 2.11, but it’s still best in the National League. He’s aware of the rumors.

“I’m not naive,” Dempster said. “I realize everything that’s going on. I’m well aware [a trade] can happen at any minute. I’m not going to walk on eggshells or worry about that. I can only focus on what I can focus on, and that’s going out there today and trying to pitch and do my job. Now my focus is to work hard tomorrow and get ready five days from now.”

Perhaps the reason he can be so calm is that Dempster is calling the shots. As a player with 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team, he can veto any deal.

“It’s awesome being the hammer and not the nail,” Dempster said.

He didn’t take the mound at Busch Stadium thinking it might be his last start for the Cubs.

“Maybe that’s why I’m not so uneasy about it because at the end of the day, it’s my decision,” he said.

Was it his last start for the Cubs? Dempster most likely didn’t follow the rumors on Twitter on Friday, which ranged from him being dealt hours before his start, to talks dragging out for a few days.

“[The media] has a job to do and I understand that,” Dempster said of the rumors. “For me, it’s just business as usual and I have to do what I have to do. Nothing has changed for me. I have to go out and get ready for my next start. I’m sure if they have something of any substance to it, they’ll come up and ask me, but until then, I just worry about what I can do.”

He doesn’t hesitate when his phone rings.

“I’m hoping its Publisher’s Clearing House — Ed McMahon maybe,” he said.

Here’s the real shocker — despite all the rumors, Dempster could end up staying with the Cubs.

“If I’m going to go, I want to go win,” Dempster said. “For right now, I’m a member of this team and I want to do the best I can to be a good teammate and go out there and do my job when I’m asked to do my job.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/20 It’s that time of year

Dale Sveum changed the setting on his cell phone Friday, just in case the team did make a deal regarding Ryan Dempster before his scheduled start against the Cardinals.

“It’s that time of year,” Sveum said Friday. “That’s why I kept my phone on high volume today. Obviously, you never know what could happen like that. One phone call changes the whole scenario. It can happen quick. It can happen with more than one guy.”

Dempster (5-3, 1.86 ERA) was reportedly being sought by several teams, including the Dodgers, who have made an offer for the right-hander. The Cubs were prepared just in case a deal was made. Casey Coleman was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa but a team official said that was done in case newly acquired pitcher Justin Germano could not get to St. Louis. The Cubs acquired Germano from the Red Sox late Thursday for cash considerations, and he did arrive at Busch Stadium in plenty of time for the game as well as a brief throwing session.

“You have to prepare for stuff like this,” Sveum said about losing a starting pitcher. “It’s never a perfect world because you never know that day or that hour when it’s going to happen.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/20 Good company

* Since 1908, just five Cubs pitchers have had longer scoreless innings streaks than Ryan Dempster’s current 33-inning run:

Pitcher (Season): Innings

Ed Reulbach (1908): 44 innings

Mordecai Brown (1908): 40 innings

Jimmy Lavender (1912): 37 2/3 innings

Bill Lee (1938) : 37 innings

Bill Lee (1938): 35 innings

Warren Brusstar (1983): 33 2/3 innings

Ryan Dempster (2012): 33 innings

Ken Holtzman (1969): 33 innings

Bob Rush (1952): 32 innings

 — Carrie Muskat

7/20 Cubs lineup

Ryan Dempster is in the Cubs’ lineup Friday for Game 1 of a three-game series against the Cardinals. Dempster enters with a 33-inning scoreless innings streak dating to June 5. That’s tied for the seventh-longest single-season scoreless innings streak by a Cubs pitcher in the last 104 years dating to 1908. With a 30 1/3 scoreless innings stretch as a reliever in 2005-06 and his current 33-inning scoreless streak as a starter, Dempster is the only pitcher in modern history (since 1900) to record 30-inning scoreless stretches as both a starter and a reliever (Elias Sports Bureau). Dempster’s 33-inning streak is the longest in the Majors since Cliff Lee’s 34-inning stretch last season.

Here’s Friday’s lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Dempster P

– Carrie Muskat

7/20 Cubs consider Dodgers offer

Ryan Dempster is still scheduled to start tonight for the Cubs, who are considering the latest offer from the Dodgers for the right-hander. According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have made an offer but won’t get into a bidding war because they also need to add offense, preferably a corner infielder, even more than they need Dempster.

The Dodgers farm system also is a little thin in the kind of prospects needed to land All-Star caliber players like Dempster, the Padres’ Chase Headley, or the Phillies’ Shane Victorino. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said they’re looking to improve on pitching in the organization. That said, Dempster, 35, would be a pure rental for the Dodgers, which most likely is affecting the negotiations. He is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which is paying him $14 million this season. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation, according to the new CBA.

Dempster has played 10 years in the Major Leagues and five with the Cubs, so he has the right to veto any deal. However, the right-hander was expected to approve of a trade to the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with his friend, Ted Lilly.

Epstein has kept Dempster up to date.

“It’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, there’s teams interested,’ and that’s great,” Dempster said Thursday. “Nothing imminent, not that I know of. I’m sure if they have something, they’ll come to me. But right now, I’m just trying to get ready for [Friday’s] game.”

The Tigers and Braves also were believed to be pursuing Dempster as well. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that talks regarding Dempster could “drag on a few more days.”

This season has been the right-hander’s best, despite two stints on the disabled list, and he currently leads the Major Leagues with a 1.86 ERA. He missed time April 21-May 3 because of a right quad strain, and was sidelined June 18-July 8 because of right lat tightness. His record would be better if he had gotten any run support early in the season. Dempster went 18 starts, dating back to August 2011, without a win until June 5 when he beat the Brewers. He has 10 quality starts out of his 14 this season. Dempster has won his last five starts without giving up a run, and his 33-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Ken Holtzman’s 33-inning streak in 1969.

The Cubs will have an extra pitcher on hand in St. Louis. Casey Coleman was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa but a team official said that was done in case newly acquired pitcher Justin Germano could not get there in time for Friday’s game. The Cubs acquired Germano from the Red Sox late Thursday for cash considerations.

– Carrie Muskat

7/19 Dempster focuses on Cubs

Ryan Dempster is still on the Cubs roster and prepping for Friday’s start in St. Louis. But he’s also a hot topic regarding trade rumors as the deadline approaches. Dempster has talked to the Cubs brass about potential moves but says no deal is imminent. As a player with 10 years of Major League service and the last five with the same team, Dempster can veto any trade.

“It’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, there’s teams interested,’ and that’s great. Nothing imminent, not that I know of,” Dempster told reporters at Wrigley Field, including MLB.com’s Cash Kruth. “I’m sure if they have something, they’ll come to me. But right now I’m just trying to get ready for tomorrow’s game.”

Dempster’s stock is at an all-time high, as the right-hander — who is 5-3 with a 1.86 ERA on the season — has tossed 33 consecutive scoreless innings. Dempster said he’s conscious of the streak, and said he “[wants] to shatter” Orel Hershiser’s all-time mark of 59 consecutive scoreless innings, set in 1988.

“I know I haven’t given up a run in five starts. I’m not naive,” Dempster said. “Like I said when I had a no-hitter going before, I know when I have a no-hitter going. I know that I have it, so I’m just going to try to keep it going, for sure. When you don’t give up any runs, you win games, so I like that.”

Between the scoreless-inning streak and preparing for his next start, Dempster said he doesn’t spend much time keeping up with the rumor mill. Although he said it’s flattering so many teams are reportedly interested in him, he’s still focused on his next start, which will take place in a Cubs uniform. On Thursday, Dempster played catch with his son Brady at Wrigley.

“I just think that there’s a lot of things between pitching and on-the-field stuff and then stuff about trades, and it’s a lot of information to try to process, so for me, I try to limit what I read and my focus is just going out there and pitching,” Dempster said. “Probably my biggest focus right now is just going out there and be ready every fifth day. I still have a job to do, and I take a lot of pride in that, so if I’m not putting my attention, my sole focus into that, I’m doing the team a little bit of a disservice.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/19 Looking ahead

As of now, Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start Friday in the Cubs series opener against the Cardinals. The subject of trade rumors, Demspter will face Kyle Lohse. The game will begin nearly five weeks in which the Cubs will play against NL Central teams (26 out of 32 games).

Friday: RHP Ryan Dempster (5-3, 1.86) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80)

Saturday: RHP Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82)

Sunday: LHP Travis Wood (4-4, 3.92) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.27)

– Carrie Muskat

7/18 Trade talks

The Cubs’ best trade chips may be pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza but one of the team’s goals heading into the Trade Deadline is to continue to improve the organization’s pitching. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, said calls have picked up as the July 31 deadline approaches.

“You can express a preference for pitching,” Epstein said, “but if we’re dealing with a club that has better position player prospects or we feel position players in a certain system are a safer bet or offer a higher upside, I don’t think it’s fair to pigeon hole yourself to one situation.

“As a whole, not specifically regarding these potential deals that are upcoming, we need to add a lot of pitching to the system,” Epstein said. “It’s not enough to have a handful. We need to have waves and waves coming into the system. We don’t have that. We hardly have one wave. We need to build a lot of pitching depth.”

Epstein said they will not make trades “for the sake of making moves,” adding “they have to put us in a better position.”

Dempster, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is reportedly drawing interest from several teams, including the Dodgers. He has 10 years in the Major Leagues and five with one team, so he can veto any deal. Epstein would not reveal which teams Dempster favored. Garza, on the other hand, would be under a team’s control through 2013. Right now, the Cubs are looking to the future.

“It’s an opportunity,” Epstein said of the Trading Deadline. “We want to make the most of it. We wish we were looking to add and hopefully in the years going forward we’ll play better in the first three, four months of the season and be in a position to add going into the playoffs.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/18 Extra bases

* Despite going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, the Cubs are batting .296 with RISP in July after posting a .199 RISP average in June.

* The Marlins are 4-0 against the Cubs this year.

* Before giving up nine runs Tuesday, Cubs pitching had given up six runs in the previous five games combined. They have a 2.55 ERA in the last six games, including a 1.65 ERA by the bullpen.

* Ryan Dempster, scheduled to start Friday against the Cardinals, is the sixth pitcher since 1900 to win five straight starts in one season and not give up a run in those games. He joins Doc White (1904 White Sox), Don Drysdale (six straight starts for the 1968 Dodgers), Bob Gibson (1968 Cardinals), Orel Hershiser (1988 Dodgers) and Brandon Webb (2007 Diamondbacks).

– Carrie Muskat

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