Dempster limited Seattle to two runs and six hits with eight strikeouts
Before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs had a deal in place to send veteran right-hander Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves for young righty Randall Delgado. The trade was never completed for uncertain reasons. Dempster has “10-5” rights that allow him to approve a new destination, but he told the media that he never turned down the trade.
Instead, Dempster was shipped to the Texas Rangers on July 31 for minor league infielder Christian Villaneuva and minor league pitcher Kyle Hendricks. The deal has worked out favorably for the Rangers, and Dempster has seven victories in 10 starts with his new team, the most wins for any American League pitcher during that stretch.
On Sunday, Dempster limited Seattle to two runs and six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk over 6.2 innings. He is 7-2 with a 4.48 ERA in 10 starts for the Rangers. In two of those outings, he allowed eight runs. Dempster has allowed no more than two runs in seven starts since arriving in Texas.
The 35-year-old Dempster, who is a free agent at season’s end, is 12-7 with a 3.07 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and a .231 opponent’s batting average in 26 starts this year between the Cubs and Rangers.
At 90-62, the Rangers have a four-game lead over Oakland in the American League West with 10 games remaining. Texas, which has won the American league pennant two years in a row, features a rotation that includes 17-game winner Matt Harrison, Japanese rookie Yu Darvish (16-9) and Dempster along with Derek Holland and Scott Feldman.
Dempster’s presence gives the Rangers a formidable 1-2-3 punch atop the rotation, which is bolstered by the top-ranked offense in the majors.