Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
The commonly held belief when a pitcher jumps from the National League
to the American League is that his numbers will suffer. The lineups are
deeper. There’s no pitcher to feast on out of the No. 9 slot. The AL
game is more offense-oriented.
Randy Johnson wasn’t the same pitcher in New York as Arizona (though,
to be fair, he came to the junior circuit at age 41). Roy Oswalt was
basically worthless in Texas, while John Smoltz cut his ERA in half
after leaving Boston in 2009 and finishing his career in St. Louis. The
winless Josh Johnson is having a rough go of things in Toronto just a
few years after leading the NL in ERA.
But to this list we cannot add Ryan Dempster.
The prevailing narrative upon his arrival this winter was that he
would get chewed up and spit out by the American League. Dempster’s
stuff might play in the NL Central, but forget about the AL East.
However, five starts into Dempster’s Red Sox career, he looks like an AL lifer, with the numbers to match.
Herald - Dempster’s in zone
You can certainly count me among those that thought Dempster would be a disaster pitching for the Sox, in the AL East. In fact, in our season preview, I predicted that Dempster would be the offseason acquisition that would haunt Sox fans throughout the year. I said, and I quote, "I become physically ill each time I think of him having to face against that Blue Jays lineup."
In my defense, he hasn't faced Toronto yet. But to this point, I was way off base. Dempster has been rock-solid. Even though he's only pitched less than half the innings for Boston than he did for Texas last season (30 - 69) his performance is lightyears above what he did for the Rangers. He's pitching his ass off this season. I tip my cap to him, and apologize for the hurtful things I said.
But I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't mean to be so pessimistic. But I am. I don't see any reason we should expect Dempster to pitch at this level for the remainder of the season. I'll point to one statistic to make my case: .187. That's what opposing batters are hitting off of him thus far. It's an absurdly low number. So absurd, it's even lower than Buchholz's .192.
By season's end, I expect that number to jump around .250, which is Dempster's lifetime average. He's already surrendered 13 runs in 30 innings without giving up many hits. Once those hits start coming, so will more runs. That's science.
I hope I'm wrong. I really do. I just don't think I am.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Carp warms to backup role | No question, Ross steps up | Globe -Dustin Pedroia hoping to get hotter for Red Sox | Dempster picks up first victory for Red Sox | WEEI - Mike Napoli has taken a liking to this first base thing | Closing Time: Red Sox continue to cruise through April, topple Astros | CSNNE - Ross enjoys career night at the plate | Game Day Notes: Ellsbury steals 200th base