Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 12/5/12
The Brewers aren’t sure that they want to go to three years for Ryan Dempster, but they do need a pitcher now that Sean Marcum is seeing other teams. There are good reasons to like him — a few changes he’s made in his approach have seem to stuck — and there is one main reason to worry about giving him too many years. From 2009 to 2012, Dempster has had an 8.5% walk rate, which is pretty much average. That average walk rate has made him an above-average starter, because he can get whiffs and usually has an average ground-ball rate. But in the first ten years of his career, he had a 11.1% unintentional walk rate. The peripheral best associated with walk rate is first strike percentage. In his first ten years, Dempster was better than average in that category only once — in his last four years he has not been below average once. So that’s a change that has been good to Dempster, and looks sustainable. Dempster has also stayed true to himself over the years, and that may be concerning to teams looking at him for a multi-year deal. Ryan Dempster has thrown the fifth-most sliders in baseball since 2009. He’s basically thrown the slide piece a third of the time over his entire career. Even as his pitching mix has changed around the pitch — maybe he’s thrown more cutters and splitters and fewer changes, or maybe the classifications have changed — he’s featured the slider as his best secondary pitch. The pitch has remained effective, counting as a negative only twice in his eleven-year career, and it’s certainly led to his above-average swinging strike and strikeout rates over the years. But Dempster is going to be 36 next season, and that’s a lot of sliders on his arm. The work isn’t perfect, but there seems to be some evidence that sliders can be tough on arms and lead to more injuries. Last year he strained his shoulder — the first time he missed significant time with an arm/shoulder thing since Tommy John surgery in 2004, but still an injury. The Brewers are rumored to be balking at adding a third year to the deal, and it might be for good reason. The Angels were once in on Dempster, but with the pitcher looking for three years, their interest has waned. The thing that has changed — Dempster’s first-strike approach — bodes well for Dempster to keep up his newly found league-average control. But it’s the thing that has remained the same — Dempster’s reliance on the slider — that may make his age a big deal.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Cowboys fear Lance Dunbar has torn ACL, MCL

Adam Schefter: Richard Sherman blocked me on Twitter

Martellus Bennett compared Jay Cutler to Jesus

Jimmy Johnson thinks 49ers need to move on from Colin Kaepernick

Pat Murphy won't be back as Padres manager next year

Brian Cushing's wife gets upset with Houston talk show host


Marshawn Lynch won't play against Lions on MNF

DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

Big 12 admits officiating error in Oklah St-K State game

George Karl apologized to DeMarcus Cousins for trade comment

Jason Whitlock, ESPN part ways again

Devonta Freeman is scoring touchdowns at a historic rate

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Professor moves student’s exam to accommodate Cubs playoff game

WATCH: Adrian Peterson torches Broncos for marathon touchdown

Don Orsillo gives moving farewell to Red Sox fans on NESN

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki takes the mound for the Marlins

Clay Matthews taunts Kaepernick with Russell Wilson line

Jay Feely shares thoughts on why NFL kickers are struggling

Female reporters blocked from entering NFL locker room

Pierre Garcon makes awesome game-winning TD catch

WATCH: Mario Williams obliterates Rashad Jennings

WATCH: Ed Dickson scores TD on crazy fumble recovery

WATCH: Nelson Agholor makes incredible one-handed catch

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Jimmy Johnson: Move on from Kaepernick

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki pitches for the Marlins

Philbin not worried about job status

London PR guy trolls Suh

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker