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Entries in Ryan Dempster (4)

Friday
Sep132013

Slip slidering away

The slider is a great pitch.
It's the fastest breaking pitch thrown, but not as fast as a four-seam or two-seam fastball. It is faster than a curveball with a later horizontal break.
This season, batters are hitting .207/.249/.335 against the slider.

Pitchers who love the slider

Pitchers who have thrown the most sliders through 9/12/13
P
Yu Darvish (TEX) 1169
Madison Bumgarner (SF) 1108
Ervin Santana (KC) 1143
Bud Norris (BAL) 995
Ryan Dempster (BOS) 810
Ricky Nolasco (LAD) 832
Kyle Lohse (MIL) 747
Mat Latos (CIN) 726
Kevin Correia (MIN) 715
Matt Cain (SF) 748

Throwing it doesn't mean throwing it well

Half of the top 10 have a higher BAA
Pitchers who have thrown the most sliders through 9/12/13
P AVG OBP SLUG
Yu Darvish (TEX) 1169 .151 .212 .236
Madison Bumgarner (SF) 1108 .215 .282 .321
Ervin Santana (KC) 1143 .170 .204 .307
Bud Norris (BAL) 995 .259 .295 .378
Ryan Dempster (BOS) 810 .275 .357 .468
Ricky Nolasco (LAD) 832 .181 .208 .295
Kyle Lohse (MIL) 747 .263 .297 .410
Mat Latos (CIN) 726 .182 .207 .268
Kevin Correia (MIN) 715 .267 .306 .462
Matt Cain (SF) 748 .194 .234 .325
I hope you notice there are some very good pitchers on this list
2013 pitchers (min 400 sliders)
P PA AVG OBP SLUG
Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) 505 131 .288 .313 .520
Dylan Axelrod (CWS) 515 137 .288 .350 .512
Ryan Dempster (BOS) 810 252 .275 .357 .468
Homer Bailey (CIN) 464 131 .273 .290 .414
Lance Lynn (STL) 444 134 .273 .331 .430
Dillon Gee (NYM) 495 139 .272 .288 .412
Jason Hammel (BAL) 429 121 .268 .322 .491
Kevin Correia (MIN) 715 225 .267 .306 .462
Kyle Lohse (MIL) 747 231 .263 .297 .410
Jason Marquis (SD) 578 193 .260 .344 .414

Then there are slider aficionados

These pitchers are having very good seasons and you can see how the slider has helped them
2013 Most Effective Sliders Pitchers (min. 400 sliders)
PPAAVGOBPSLUG
Justin Masterson (CLE)792220.110.183.180
Patrick Corbin (ARI)666217.121.190.201
Jhoulys Chacin (COL)486166.123.170.221
Chris Sale (CWS)865217.140.207.235
Max Scherzer (DET)546141.141.177.200
Sergio Romo (SF)418123.144.171.220
Francisco Liriano (PIT)786239.150.232.215
Yu Darvish (TEX)1169358.151.212.236
Tyson Ross (SD)541179.152.223.177
Adam Ottavino (COL)570162.158.217.226

No report on Sliders would be complete without the Indians mascot

Friday
Aug022013

Red Sox getting less than expected from Ryan Dempster

From 2009-13, Ryan Dempster has had one half of one good season.

That's it.

Which is why, Red Sox Nation should not have expected very much from him.

Yet even with these low expectations, they are getting less.

Ryan Dempster 2009-13
 ERAWHIPWLIP/GGSAVGSLUGOBPHRHR/9
2009-13 4.02 1.346 54 51 6.16 149 .254 .412 .325 110 1.08
2013 4.54 1.496 6 8 5.77 22 .259 .441 .343 21 1.49

There are only 10 starters with an ERA over 4.50 and WHIP over 1.450

Dempster's 2013 Cohorts
 ERAWHIPHRHR/9GSIPIP/GAVG
Ryan Dempster 4.54 1.496 21 1.49 22 127.0 5.77 .259
Edinson Volquez 5.56 1.591 11 0.78 23 126.0 5.49 .281
Joe Blanton 5.52 1.563 24 1.82 20 119.0 5.41 .313
Scott Diamond 5.52 1.551 16 1.34 20 107.1 5.38 .311
Lucas Harrell 5.24 1.645 16 1.20 20 120.0 5.01 .281
Jason Hammel 5.20 1.512 20 1.46 21 123.0 5.86 .290
Barry Zito 5.09 1.680 12 0.97 21 111.0 5.30 .313
Yovani Gallardo 4.91 1.481 13 0.91 23 128.1 5.58 .276
Joe Saunders 4.65 1.496 16 1.11 22 129.1 5.89 .298
Wily Peralta 4.57 1.462 13 0.90 23 130.0 5.65 .271

Obviously, this is not great company.

But it wasn't like this last season.

Ryan Dempster started off great for the Cubs last season

Dempster was a Cubs hero last season.

  • Batters were hitting .210 against him. 
  • His ERA was 2.25 and his WHIP was 1.038.
  • In 104 innings he allowed nine homers, a rate of 0.78 HR/9. 

He was so good that at the trade deadline on July 31, 2012, Dempster was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers for Christian Villanueva (minors) and Kyle Hendricks (minors).

Briefly, the 23-year old Hendricks this season pitching for Double A Tennessee is 10-3 with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP and Villanueva, playing on the same team, has 14 homers.

The Cubs couldn't ask for anything more.

Unfortunately, the Rangers could

Dempster was 7-3 with Texas after the deal, but there is a reason why more and more people are ignoring W-L records as a measure of pitching efficacy.

Dempster had a 5.09 ERA and a 1.435 WHIP.

So when the Red Sox offered the now 36-year old pitcher a two-year, $26.5M contract, I'm sure the Rangers responded with a hearty handshake.

When he signed with Boston last December, Boston Globe national baseball writer Nick Cafardo wrote:

One National League GM cautioned about Dempster’s ability to handle strong AL lineups. He had a 11.20 ERA in three starts against the Angels last season, and he was hit hard by the Yankees and A’s.

“If he’s your fifth starter you can be a little bit more picky who he pitches against,” said the GM. “Obviously, Texas didn’t re-sign him feeling he was more suited for the National League. But if you’re careful and pick your spots, he’ll do a great job. He’s a competitor.”

Cafardo's source was correct.

Since the deal

  • Batters are hitting .265 against him. 
  • His ERA is 4.73 and his WHIP is 1.474.
  • In 196 innings he has allowed 31 homers, a rate of 1.42 HR/9.

No magic

On a team that has been producing miracle games, there has been no magic for the Red Sox from Dempster.

So as the Red Sox wait for the prodigal son Clay Buchholz to return. And hope that Jon Lester has regained his mojo. And hope that John Lackey has something left in the tank (in his last three starts he has a 5.49 ERA, a 1.475 WHIP, and a .333 BAA). And hope that Felix Doubront continues to thrive (in his last eight starts he's allowed as many as three runs only once). And hope that Jake Peavy has something left in the tank.

In the meantime, Dempster remains in the rotation, probably a littled dinged, but then again we're getting to the time of the season where many pitchers may be hurting.

But in all honesty what you see is what you get from Dempster.

And probably a little less.

Saturday
Jun082013

One and D'oh!

Al Michaels has always been one of my favorite announcers, and while many of you may think of him as a football announcer or asking the immortal question, "Do you believe in miracles?", I always loved his work in baseball.

Like many announcers, the Brooklyn-born Michaels has certain tells in their speech as to their background. With Michaels, I would always wait for the first pitch of an at bat to a batter to hear Michaels channel his inner not-yet-created Homer Simpson state, "The count is one and d'oh."

Here's a look at that first pitch ball.

The 1-0 pitch

Pitchers don't want to go 1-0. It's better than giving a hit on 0-0, but that's it. Everything else is worse. You fall behind and immediately give an advantage to the batter as a result.

The difference between 0-1 and 1-0

SplitPAABRH2B3BHRBAOBPSLGOPSTB
1-0 Count 4589 4439 751 1444 308 37 188 .325 .326 .538 .864 2390
0-1 Count 6106 5867 808 1836 347 29 166 .313 .320 .467 .787 2739
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/8/2013.

Who are the best 1-0 pitchers?

There are 10 pitchers who have held batters to under a .200 batting average against on 1-0 pitches.

Doug Fister has been incredible only allowing one hit, an infield single to Mark DeRosa on 4/11 in the midst of a Tigers blowout of the Jays.

Clay Buchholz has been equally effective only allowing a Vernon Wells single in a Red Sox victory over the Yankees on 4/3.

The Tribe's Zach McAllister has permitted just two hits on the 1-0 count. 

 

Name

G

PA

AVG

OBP

SLUG

OPS

1

Doug  Fister  (DET)

12

21

0.053

0.143

0.053

0.195

2

Clay Buchholz (BOS)

11

12

0.083

0.083

0.083

0.167

3

Zach McAllister (CLE)

11

21

0.100

0.143

0.100

0.243

4

A.J. Griffin (OAK)

12

17

0.118

0.118

0.118

0.235

5

Travis Wood (CHC)

12

20

0.150

0.150

0.200

0.350

6

C.J. Wilson (LAA)

12

18

0.176

0.222

0.353

0.575

7

Nick Tepesch (TEX)

11

17

0.176

0.176

0.529

0.706

8

Jon Niese (NYM)

11

16

0.188

0.188

0.313

0.500

9

Lance Lynn (STL)

12

17

0.188

0.188

0.250

0.438

10

Jason Hammel (BAL)

13

22

0.190

0.182

0.286

0.468

 

The pitchers who struggle on 1-0

There are 24 pitchers who have a .400+ batting average against them on 1-0 counts. 

These are the seven worst.

 

 

G

PA

AVG

OBP

SLUG

OPS

1

Kris Medlen (ATL)

12

13

0.667

0.667

1.000

1.667

2

Dillon Gee (NYM)

12

26

0.654

0.654

0.962

1.615

3

Ubaldo Jimenez (CLE)

12

15

0.571

0.533

0.714

1.248

4

Ryan Dempster (BOS)

12

12

0.545

0.500

1.455

1.955

5

Marco Estrada (MIL)

12

22

0.545

0.545

1.091

1.636

6

Adam Wainwright (STL)

13

30

0.483

0.483

0.621

1.103

7

R.A. Dickey (TOR)

13

26

0.480

0.462

0.960

1.422

Nine to Know

  1. R.A. Dickey has thrown 166 1-0 pitches, Mark Buehrle 159, James Shields 148, constituting the three most 1-0 counts on batters.
  2. R.A. Dickey has thrown 104 1-0 strikes, Mark Buehrle 107, and Jon Lester 100
  3. Kevin Correia has had 39 1-0 plate appearances.
  4. Dillon Gee has has surrendered 17 1-0 hits.
  5. Marco Estrada and Kevin Correia have each allowed four 1-0 homers.
  6. Cliff Lee has produced 17 foul balls 1-0 counts.
  7. After 1-0, Jordan Zimmermann has gone 1-1 51 times, the most in the majors.
  8. After 1-0, R.A. Dickey and Edinson Volquez have gone 2-0 62 times, the most in the majors
  9. After 1-0, Jason Marquis has walked the batter 29 times, Tim Lincecum, Dickey, and Lucas Harrell 28 times each, the most in the majors.

There you go, my "one and d'oh" salute to the great Al Michaels.