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Tag:Ryan Dempster
Posted on: April 11, 2011 11:36 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 11:43 pm

Cubs survive despite ill-advised pitching plan

By Matt Snyder

The Cubs survived Monday night with a win, but did nearly everything they could after the fourth inning to give the game to the hapless Astros. They pounded the ball all over the yard for four innings while Ryan Dempster fought through early command issues and settled in. It was 5-0 and everything seemed to be in control. Things started to unravel soon thereafter due to a pitching gameplan that made little sense.

You see, the Cubs are going to use a reliever to start Tuesday's game. James Russell is slated to go about three innings, so the Cubs knew they were going to tax the bullpen Tuesday. So when Dempster was north of 100 pitches and losing control -- he walked two of the last three hitters he faced in the sixth -- manager Mike Quade tried to squeeze a seventh inning out of him. That was fine. He can handle the workload, it was the bottom of the order and they still had a four-run lead.

Then Bill Hall hit a home run.

OK, so let Dempster face Michael Bourn with a three-run lead. I guess I could see the case to let that happen. But then Bourn doubled and it actually could have easily been called a home run. If you made a list of the top 10 least powerful hitters in the league, Bourn would be on it. And Quade and his staff even had time to discuss things while the umpires used instant replay to see if the ball left the yard or not. It was ruled a double and a clearly gassed Dempster was left in the game.

Of course, Bourn scored pretty shortly thereafter as Angel Sanchez followed with a home run to cut the score to 5-4. Finally, mercifully, Dempster was removed after 115 pitches and nearly blowing a five-run lead in a matter of 1 1/3 innings.

About this time, the offense stopped hitting, too, as the Astros' bullpen allowed zero hits and two walks in the final four innings (it's stuff like this that makes me wonder how I've avoided a heart attack in my 25-plus years of being a Cubs fan).

But the bullpen did make the lead stand up, as Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol got some huge strikeouts to escape late Houston rallies.

Of course, now the Cubs have to worry about filling six innings of relief tomorrow, assuming Russell can make it through three. Sure, they were dealt a bad hand with injuries to both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, but you don't have to create adversity for yourself by using a relief pitcher as a starter like it's spring training.

There's been no official word Quade left Dempster in due to the plan for Tuesday, but let's be honest here: If Cashner or Wells was taking the mound Tuesday, there's no way Dempster is in the game that long.

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:49 am

3 up, 3 down for 3/30: Opening day matchups

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum -- Opening day at Dodger Stadium, against the Giants and with the Giants coming off a World Series title, this game has enough going for it to start with, add in two of the best young pitchers in the game and it's an embarrassment of riches. (Thursday, 8 p.m. EST at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles)

CC Sabathia vs. Justin Verlander -- There'll be no shortage of heat at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Sabathia is starting his third straight opening day for the Yankees, while Verlander's strong spring give hope to avoiding another rough April. Not only do you have two of the best pitchers in the game going head-to-head, they're both facing formidable lineups. (Thursday, 1:05 p.m. EST at Yankee Stadium, New York)

Felix Hernandez vs. Trevor Cahill -- Hernandez won his first Cy Young Award last season, while Cahill is at the top of what is probably the American League's best rotation. We all know Hernandez's resume, but Cahill had an impressive 2010 as well, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA. (Friday, 10:05 p.m. EST at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.)


Ryan Dempster vs. Kevin Correia -- Correia goes from being another guy in a very good rotation in San Diego a year ago to the top of the Pirates' rotation. Dempster has started two opening days before, both in Florida, but is hardly a marquee name for one of the game's marquee franchises. (Friday, 2:20 p.m. EST at Wrigley Field in Chicago)

Derek Lowe vs. Livan Hernandez -- Lowe's starting his third straight opening day for the Braves and Hernandez is making his fourth overall opening day start for the Nationals/Expos, but first since 2006. Both have had good careers, but there's little sizzle to this matchup.  (Thursday, 1:05 p.m. EST at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.)

Tim Stauffer vs. Chris Carpenter -- With all due respect to the 2005 Cy Young Award winner, this game is as much about who isn't pitching as who will toe the rubber. The expectation was that it would be Mat Latos against Adam Wainwright, this just doesn't have the same juice. (Thursday, 4:15 p.m. EST at Busch Stadium, St. Louis)

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Carmona tabbed to start opening day

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

Fausto CarmonaThe Indians tabbed Fausto Carmona as their opening-day starter on Monday, before he went out to work two scoreless innings against the Reds at the team's shared home in Goodyear, Ariz.

Carmona will start opposite Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on April 1 at Progressive Park in Cleveland.

Not that it's much of a surprise -- it was Carmona or… Carlos Carrasco? But anyway, it was official until Monday when manager Manny Acta was asked if it was a "safe assumption" Carmona would start on opening day.

"That's a good assumption," Acta told reporters, including "Yeah, he's our opening day starter. He deserves that."

And while there are plenty we can assume -- we won't. Here's the official list so far:

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster
Dodgers -- Clayton Kershaw
Indians -- Fausto Carmona
Mets -- Mike Pelfrey
Rangers -- C.J. Wilson
Reds -- Edinson Volquez
Twins -- Carl Pavano
White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 8:48 pm

Buehrle to start opening day for White Sox

Mark BuehrleAnother day, another opening day starter announced. Today, it's the White Sox's Ozzie Guillen saying he'll hand the ball to Mark Buehrle in Cleveland on April 1.

Oh, except this one isn't "official."

"It's Buehrle unless something drastic happens," Guillen told reporters, including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

Buehrle will be making his ninth opening-day start, so it's hardly a surprise. Still, it's a rite of spring for each one of these to be made public. Few will be surprising, but many managers will make sure they keep it under wraps as long as possible, for some reason.

So here's the list we've got so far:

Reds -- Edinson Volquez

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster

Rangers -- C.J. Wilson

Twins -- Carl Pavano

White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 1:05 pm

Dempster draws Opening Day start for Cubs


It's not yet March, but manager Mike Quade of the Cubs already knows who is starting opening day: Ryan Dempster, as reveals.

That's actually rather significant in Chicago, as Carlos Zambrano had started the previous six openers. Zambrano had previously said he wanted the start, but would go along with whatever was decided. Big Z had a complicated 2010 -- to say the least -- but did finish with an overall 3.33 ERA in 20 starts and 16 relief appearances, posting a 1.40 ERA in his final 11 starts.

But Dempster was in the rotation the entire season for the third straight year after converting back to being a starter. His 3.85 ERA in 215 1/3 innings is a high since converting, but Dempster was the clear choice

"There's some instinct here for me," Quade said. "I do pay attention to numbers, but you weigh it out and keep looking and it's him, him, him, and finally I said, 'this is the way we're going.'

"You think about Z's finish and Demp battling all year long and doing a good job," he added. "If there was something I lost sleep over, it was the two guys who have been with us and who gets the shot. I think I just thought we'd change it up a little. Z's done it. Let's see how it plays."

Part of Quade's decision was influenced by the ability to have Zambrano lined up to battle the Brewers during the April 8-10 series. The mercurial right-hander has long had success in Milwaukee's Miller Park, including tossing a no-hitter against the Astros in 2008 when weather conditions forced a move from Minute Maid Park to Miller Park.

The third spot in the rotation will be handled by Matt Garza, while the final two spots will be filled by Randy Wells, James Russell, Carlos Silva or Andrew Cashner. Garza's spot in the rotation will allow him to ease into his new surroundings by scouting the Pirates and Wrigley Field for two games before being asked to take the hill.

With the front three settled, pitching coach Mark Riggins can get moving on lining up the spring training rotation to accede to Quade's wishe.

"They're all going to need to pitch well," Quade said. "It's opening day and a big deal, but I looked at matchups going into Milwaukee, and so on and so forth. Riggs needs to know by [Tuesday], so what am I waiting for?"

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 6:06 pm

Silva confident in rotation spot

Carlos Silva
Well, there's one thing off Mike Quade's plate this spring. Carlos Silva has decided he's in the Cubs rotation.

"Yesterday, someone asked me, 'Are the fourth and fifth spots still open?'" Silva told reporters Tuesday. "For them, it's open. For whoever is competing, it's open. For me, there's only one spot open because I am one of the starters. They think like that, not me."

Silva can be commended for using the power of positive thinking, but it's not quite that simple. Behind the set trio of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Carlos Zambrano, there is a lot that could happen. Silva is in a mix with Randy Wells, Jeff Zamardzija, Casey Coleman and Andrew Cashner.

Silva, brought in last winter from Seattle in an exchange of bad contracts that sent out Milton Bradley, stunned everyone with a big start, going 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA in the first half of the season. The second half was derailed by a heart issue and an elbow problem.

Quade said nobody has earned anything yet, including Silva.

"His experience speaks for itself and his start last year was fantastic," Quade told, "but there are a few guarantees in this game and I'm not sure the back end of this rotation has got anybody guaranteed anything. He does have the experience. I expect him to be a prominent consideration. We'll see."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Cubs looking to fill rotation from within

James Russell Left-hander James Russell will compete for a spot in the Cubs' starting rotation, manager Mike Quade told the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan .

Russell was 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 57 appearances out of the bullpen for the Cubs as a rookie in 2010. He struck out 42 in 49 innings, while walking 11 and allowing 55 hits. He gave up 11 home runs, two for every nine innings pitched.

"I don't get too worked up early on, because, bang, all of a sudden you blink and things change," Quade said. "All of a sudden you've got two additions [in Matt Garza and Kerry Wood] who have specific roles and have earned them, and now it puts the kids and a lot of the other people in flux. The idea that you can never have enough pitching is huge. We'll see how the back end looks as it shakes out."

Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are already pencilled in for the team's rotation, with Russell, Carlos Silva, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Samardzija battling for the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 12:57 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Cubs talking trades for starters

The Cubs are looking for pitching -- not only talking to the Rays about Matt Garza, but also talking about swapping left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny for right-handed starter Armando Galarraga,'s Carrie Muskat writes .

The Cubs have Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells at the top of their rotation. The team still has Carlos Silva under control, but his status remains murky, leaving a competition between Gorzelanny, Casey Coleman and Jeff Samardzija for the last two spots of the rotation.

The team has reportedly talked to representatives for Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis, as well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or