Dempster using suspension to work on mechanics

Dempster using suspension to work on mechanics
August 25, 2013, 7:30 pm
Share This Post
(USA Today Sports Images)

LOS ANGELES - Only one more game, Ryan Dempster joked Sunday, and his five-game exile from the Red Sox will be over.
     
Since Tuesday, Dempster has been serving his suspension for throwing at and hitting Alex Rodriguez last Sunday at Fenway Park.
     
Rules prohibit Dempster from being in the dugout or clubhouse when the game begins, so he's been wandering Dodger Stadium the last two days, watching incognito.
     
"It's like 'Where's Waldo?'" he cracked.
     
But Dempster has also been making good use of his down time. On Saturday, before leaving the premises, Dempster threw an 80-pitch bullpen, his longest of the season, serving almost as a simulated game.
     
"I did everything like I would (during a game)," he said. "I'm just throwing bullpens and flat-grounds and try to stay sharp."
     
Dempster won't pitch again until Friday against Chicago, by which time he'll have had an 11-day break between starts. But at this time of the year, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
     
"There's a silver lining to everything," he said, "My arm's probably benefiting from it. I'm not 26 anymore, I'm 36. So I'm sure this week of rest is probably good for my arm. Anytime you get time off when you're not actually hurt, especially late in the season, it can be beneficial.
     
"I remember last year, I missed some time because of my quad and my arm felt better because of that. So I feel like it can help."
     
Dempster said he hadn't been experiencing a "dead arm," and joked that he had merely been "experiencing poor location in my picher's arm. I've been working to try to fix that."
     
He's been using the side sessions to work on repeating his delivery and "pounding the ball down (in the strike zone). I've been making a lot of good pitches, but I've been making a lot of bad pitches, too, in big situations. I've got to try to avoid those."
     
Dempster said he and teammate David Ortiz have a good relationship, after Ortiz took issue with hitting Rodriguez and waking up the Yankees a week ago.
     
"For sure," said Dempster. "He has his opinion and he has a right to every bit of his opinion. This is his team. I'm sure he was a little bit frustrated with everything that happened and that's OK, man. No, not at all. We joked about it. We're totally cool."