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Sunday, 16 February 2014 16:23

Boston Red Sox Pitcher Ryan Dempster Announces He Will Not Pitch in 2014

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At a press conference earlier today, Red Sox swing man pitcher Ryan Dempster announced he will not be pitching in 2014. He didn't call it a career though, and said he would be open to the idea of pitching again in 2015, an idea which seems far-fetched. Dempster, 36, was scheduled to earn $13.25 million this season but was battling to earn a roster spot which seemed unlikely for him to earn, and was number six on the depth chart for starting pitchers. In 2013 Dempster had a so-so season posting a 4.57 ERA in 32 appearances, 29 of which were starts while racking up 157 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings. In the playoffs, he served his role well as a reliever allowing a run in three innings of work. This was accompanied by three strikeouts. Perhaps his most memorable moment with the Red Sox, came on August 18th, an outing in which he really struggled. Despite giving up 7 runs in 5 1/3 innings, he will be remember well by this start against the New York Yankees. Even though it was a rough outing, it was the game he intentionally threw at Alex Rodriguez who was playing despite appealing a suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs. Dempster was not ejected from the game, however afterward he was suspended five games for his action. Other than playing for the Red Sox, Dempster had a successful career in the National League with the Florida Marlins Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. Serving primarily as a starter, the two-time All-Star served as a closer for the Chicago Cubs from 2005 through the end of the 2007 season. After that he was back to being a full time workhorse starter where he had one of his best seasons in 2008 boasting a 2.96 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 206 2/3 innings pitched. Despite being an NL starter, Dempster did pitch August and September of 2012 with the Texas Rangers after vetoing a trade to the Atlanta Braves. Dempster proved ineffective in the American League with a 5.09 ERA in twelve starts despite a minute 2.25 ERA in 16 starts in the National League for Chicago. It is definitely for the best that Dempster is no longer pitching for the Boston Red Sox, it is not a matter of being able to pitch, but it is best for the club. With Ryan Dempster no longer being on the team, the Red Sox gain $13.25 million in cap room, which could come in handy later in the season, perhaps at the trade deadline. Even if money were not a factor, this move still would have benefitted the Red Sox because of the depth of pitching prospects that are near Major League ready that they have amassed. Such names include: Brandon Workman, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Drake Britton, Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes, Dalier Hinojosa, and Henry Owens. Steven Wright does not really count as a prospect he could still help out at the Major League level if called upon for a start or two. On a side note, Boston could put this money into re-signing Stephen Drew, a move which would be a huge mistake with Bogaerts having the potential for a breakout year, Will Middlebrooks' muscle gain and solid second half of 2013, not to mention Jonathan Herrera offers more versatility as a utility-infielder. Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @CLNS_Tom