Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
42-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ryan Dempster in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2012.
Slated to start Thursday for Canada
PFree Agent  
March 9, 2017
Dempster is scheduled to start Thursday for Team Canada against Team Dominican Republic in the WBC, MLB.com reports.
The lineup for the Dominican Republic has not yet been released, but its roster includes the likes of Manny Machado, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco (among other major leaguers). Making matters worse for Dempster, he will be opposed by Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals' hard-throwing ace.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Dempster slogged his way through the season, finishing among the leaders in walks, homers and hits per nine innings. His most remarkable moment may have come when he was suspended for five games after plunking reputed PED user Alex Rodriguez. He has another year left on his contract and is one of six Boston starters under contract entering 2014. Given good health for all the starting arms, Dempster would likely be the one headed to the bullpen.
Dempster knocked off a few walks and got lucky with BABIP (.255) and strand rate (.828) to post a 2.25 ERA/1.14 WHIP with the Cubs before being shipped at the trade deadline to the Rangers. Texas got all of the regression (.339 BABIP/.674 strand rate) wrapped up nicely in 12 starts, as Dempster posted a 5.09 ERA and 1.43 WHIP after the Rangers acquired him. Although he could continue to provide strikeouts and a high volume of innings, Dempster carries plenty of risk after landing in Boston with a two-year deal in December.
Dempster's cosmetic numbers (10 wins, 4.80 ERA) took a dive last year, but his peripherals (191:82 K:BB, 1.36 GB/FB rate) were right in line with his better seasons. A .331 BABIP and 68.5 percent strand rate were to blame, and there's no reason to think those numbers won't normalize in 2012. Dempster's still able to miss bats and keep the ball in the park, so don't treat him much differently than you did heading into last year.
Once an erratic hard thrower with spotty command, Dempster has emerged as a team's ace the last couple years. Dempster still issues more walks than you'd like, but he struck out nearly a batter an inning last season, and did a good job keeping the ball down (1.36 G/F). Dempster gave up 25 homers, but the Wrigley Field winds can be volatile for the long ball, and given his groundball rate, we'd expect that number to drop in 2011. Dempster has made 31 or more starts and logged 200-plus innings since moving back into the rotation in 2008, making him one of the more reliable starters in the National League over than span. He enters the year as the team's unquestioned No. 1 starter.
While the cosmetic stats (11 wins, 3.65 ERA, 1.305 WHIP) from Dempster's 2009 might not have stacked up to his 2008 breakout (17 wins, 2.96 ERA, 1.210 WHIP), his peripherals absolutely did. In fact, Dempster issued fewer walks, induced more groundballs and lost only a few strikeouts. The main culprits in his drop-off were poor run support, slightly worse BABIP luck and worse luck with flyballs leaving the park. While Dempster is never going to have elite command, his skill set appears very much intact, and he should continue to be an effective pitcher who misses bats and keeps the ball in the park.
Dempster's transition from closer to starter last year exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. While Dempster continued to issue his share of free passes, he mitigated that with 8.14 K/9IP, and only 14 home runs allowed in 206.2 innings pitched. Dempster has a history of keeping the ball on the ground, so the low home-run total is probably not a fluke. Dempster signed a four-year, $52 million deal in November to remain a Cub, and while the team is apparently sold on his abilities, we'd proceed with caution on a 31-year-old pitcher coming off a career year.
The Cubs' inconsistent closer for the last three seasons, Dempster is likely to move into the rotation in 2008, making room for some combination of Bobby Howry, Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood in the ninth inning. Dempster can still make batters miss on occasion, and he keeps the ball on the ground which will help when the wind's blowing out at Wrigley Field. But he also issues far too many free passes, and we'd expect his strikeout rate to decline as he moves from closer to starter. Moreover, he'll have to beat out Sean Marshall and prospect Sean Gallagher to secure a regular turn in the rotation.
After a strong April, Dempster fell apart last season, losing nine games and blowing nine saves due to poor command and untimely hits. While last season's manager Dusty Baker stuck with Dempster to a fault, Baker eventually had to pull him from the closer role in what amounted to a mercy killing. His replacement, Bobby Howry, pitched better than Dempster, but Howry allows too many fly balls and home runs to be ideally suited to the role. (Dempster kept the ball on the ground for the most part.) At press time, Dempster is slated to begin the season once again as the Cubs closer. General manager Jim Hendry says he has confidence in him and is not looking to sign a replacement. Dempster's under contract for two more years at $5 million per, which is not setup man money. Command has always been Dempster's Achilles' heel, but he's got good enough stuff to get by with a little luck. Just keep an eye on his performance this spring and realize he'll be on a short leash.
Dempster's three-year, $15.5 million deal guarantees that he'll open 2006 as the Cubs' closer, even if Kerry Wood isn't able handle starter's innings. Dempster walked too many batters last year, but he kept the ball in the park, and he averaged nearly a strikeout an inning. Moreover, his overall numbers are deceptive because they include his work in the rotation early in the season. As a reliever, Dempster converted 33 of 35 save chances and went 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA, but his 53/27 K/BB ratio in 58.1 innings isn't spectacular for a stopper.
Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Dempster was fairly effective for the Cubs in a relief role down the stretch. He still needs to cut down on the walks, which has always been an issue, but keep in mind that he struck out 209 batters in 226.3 IP in 2000 (probably his last completely healthy season before his arm wore down from overuse). If the Cubs don't sign a high-profile reliever before the start of the season, he could be used as a closer or top set-up man in 2005.
Dempster had Tommy John surgery to repair a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in August and probably will miss the entire 2004 season. It's an open question as to which team he'll complete his rehab for.
Dempster has topped the 200-inning mark three years in a row now, at ages 23, 24, and 25. His strikeout rate per nine innings pitched has declined over that time, from 8.3 to 7.3 to 6.6 last year. A strong finish in September (3-0, 2.53 ERA) leaves some cause for optimism, but until Dempster's strikeout rate stabilizes, and his control improves, he's a risk to own.
More Fantasy News
PBoston Red Sox  
October 29, 2014
Dempster has announced his retirement from major league baseball after 16 seasons, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.
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Ryan Dempster: Placed on Restricted List
PBoston Red Sox  
February 22, 2014
Dempster was placed on the restricted list by the Red Sox on Saturday.
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Ryan Dempster: Will Not Pitch In 2014
PBoston Red Sox  
February 16, 2014
Dempster will not pitch for the Red Sox in 2014 due to physical reasons and his desire to spend more time with his kids, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports.
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PBoston Red Sox  
September 22, 2013
Dempster made his first appearance out of the bullpen Saturday, pitching a scoreless inning while giving up a hit and walk in Boston's loss to Toronto.
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PBoston Red Sox  
September 20, 2013
Dempster will work out of the bullpen for the rest of the regular season with the Red Sox, the Boston Herald reports.
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