Dempster looking forward to fresh start with Red Sox


Dempster looking forward to fresh start with Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ryan Dempster left one last-place team for another this winter, but he's not concerned that the losing he experience in Chicago will continue with the Red Sox.

"I think anything that happened last year, no matter what team you're on, that kind of goes out the door," said Dempster. "You can look at different teams, teams maybe that have won it and don't end up getting back there, or maybe not even make the playoffs. It's amazing how fast things can change.

"And vice versa. OK, (the Red Sox) finished last past year. But things can turn around in a heartbeat. You look at the type of players we brought in, and guys being healthy. We just have to go out there and stay healthy through spring training, then be prepared when the season starts to go out and get after it.

"I think anytime spring training starts, there's always that determination. You have that fresh new outlook on a season. You can put last year behind you, whether it was good or bad. You learn from it and you learn from your successes and your failures and you go out there and try to improve on that."

Dempster has pitched almost exclusively in the National League in his career, but made his A.L. debut last August when he was traded from the Cubs to the Texas Rangers.

"If anybody says, 'Oh, it's no different (in the A.L.) . . .' It is different. You're not facing a pitcher, you're facing a (DH like) David Ortiz or you're facing a Mark Teixeira. You have somebody plugged into that spot who's a bona fide middle-of-the-order hitter. It does change.

"But at the same time, your goal as a pitcher is to go out and execute as many quality pitches as possible. If you throw 100 pitches in a game and you execute 90 of those, you're going to have success. The (fewer) pitches you execute, no matter who you're facing, you're not going to have as much success. I think it comes down to preparing, practicing to do it and then maintaining your focus, never letting up."

Beyond facing a DH instead of a pitcher, Dempster noticed other changes between the leagues.

"I think AL teams make adjustments very fast,'' he said. "They're a lot more patient. But I think that comes from team to team. I faced some really good teams last year, some really good hitting teams. Facing them one through nine, you just have to be prepared. It's about making pitches. Ultimately, if you do that, if you execute your pitches and put them where you want, 7 12 times out of 10, you're going to get the job done."

Dempster has pitched just under 1,000 innings in the last five years, evidence of how durable he's been. He hopes that continues to be the case.

"I like to provide consistency," said Dempster. "I think that's probably something, over the course of my career, that I take the biggest pride in. I try to take the ball every fifth day, as long as I can and go out there and give it my best effort. Be prepared - I think that's really important. That's something that, over the course of my career, from watching guys, is be prepared as you can to go out there and have success."

Thursday's Red Sox-Angels lineups: Sox kick off road trip with Price


Thursday's Red Sox-Angels lineups: Sox kick off road trip with Price

The Boston Red Sox send David Price (9-7, 4.51 ERA) to the mound to kick of their long road trip against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels will counter with righty Jered Weaver (8-8, 5.32 ERA).

The lineups:


Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF

David Price LHP

Yunel Escobar 3B
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 1B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jett Bandy C
Gregorio Petit LF
Johnny Giavotella 2B

Jered Weaver RHP

McAdam: Poor homestand puts Red Sox on tough road

McAdam: Poor homestand puts Red Sox on tough road

The Red Sox had their chance.

They could have beefed up during the just-completed homestand and taken advantage of the worst team in the American League (Minnesota) and another that was only three games over .500 when it came to town (Detroit).

Instead, the Red Sox were just 2-5 in the last seven games at Fenway, losing ground in the standings to the Orioles and Blue Jays rather than making the race tighter.

That's not to suggest the Red Sox played their way out of contention in the last week. There are better than two months remaining in the season and the schedule isn't yet two-thirds complete.

Moreover, there is no dominant team in the East, and, thus, no one capable of pulling away and leaving the rest of the teams in their wake.

Baltimore and Toronto are flawed, too, as the first 100 or so games of the season have demonstrated.

But what the disappointing homestand means is this: Because they didn't win as much as they should at Fenway in the last week, the Sox will have to make up for that on the road.

As has been talked about ad nauseum in the last week, the schedule is about to become more demanding for the Red Sox. It's bad enough that they're in the middle of a stretch that will see them enjoy one (1) day off in the span of 44 days. Making matters worse is that 41 of the final 63 games are away from home -- including the next 11.

Put another way: The Red Sox have not yet had a three-city road trip this season, but all four of their remaining trips are of the three-city variety, including two that include travel to the West Coast.

The Red Sox have played fairly well on the road (21-19) -- they're one of just four teams in the American League with a winning road record -- but the simple fact remains: It's harder to win on the road than it is at home. And that's before you take into consideration the toll that lengthy road trips can take.

Of the next three road opponents, one has a losing record, and another is just two games over .500. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers, next weekend's interleauge road opponent, are playoff contenders from among that group.

Then again, the Red Sox thought they could roll over the Twins last weekend and came away with a four-game split, so it's difficult to handicap these things.

It should help, too, that the Red Sox are getting healthier.

Junichi Tazawa returned this week, and Craig Kimbrel could be back as early as Monday in Seattle. Chris Young and Josh Rutledge could rejoin them before they head out on their next road swing in mid-August.

With all the talk of the daunting schedule and demanding travel ahead, Dustin Pedroia was having none of it.

"We can play just as well on the road as we have at home,'' said Pedroia. "That stuff (the schedule) is irrelevant.''

Maybe. But one way or another, we're about to find out.

Source: Sox seek smaller pieces, not big names, at trade deadline

Source: Sox seek smaller pieces, not big names, at trade deadline

BOSTON -- According to an N.L. talent evaluator who is familiar with some of the Red Sox ongoing talks with teams leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, the Sox seem focused on adding a bullpen piece and/or back-end starters.

The need for the former is rather obvious, given the current injuries to Criag Kimbrel and Koji Uehara. The Sox can use some upgrades and another experienced arm to guide them through the final two months.

As for the rotation, it's not a surprise that the Sox aren't serious bidders for more glamorous names like Chris Sale, since that would require them to gut their farm system.

But the team's starter depth is perilous, with only Clay Buchholz in reserve. It makes perfect sense that the Sox would be seeking someone else to help provide them with insurance against further injuries or under-performance.