In the headline, when I said “Dempster Meets Expectations”, I didn’t mean the expectations of an opening day starter. I mean those that we have for Ryan Dempster after last season. He didn’t have the greatest of days yesterday.
In his second-to-last spring tuneup, Opening Day starter Ryan Dempsterwas roughed up in a minor-league game.
The Cubs right-hander gave up six runs on eight hits over five innings with a walk and four strikeouts. The positive number for the Cubs is that Dempster stretched himself out to 88 pitches.
Hooray! He’s stretching himself out so he can throw more ineffective pitches. On the flip side, James Russell appears to be hitting his stride at just the right time.
The only lefty that’s a sure thing for the Cubs’ Opening Day bullpen, Russell pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just a hit. He now has 5 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three outings.
Of course, we all know that Russell is no Sean Marshall.
Earlier in the spring, Dale Sveum announced that once he decides on a lineup this year, he’s going to stick with it. Unfortunately for him, deciding on a lineup hasn’t been very easy.
“I’ve probably lost more sleep over our batting order than anything as far as camp’s gone. The last week might have something to do with that lineup. It’s who’s swinging good, what’s going on, who steps up power-wise. It’s just kind of a funny lineup where we don’t have that guy, this guy, that second hitter, that leadoff guy, that third hitter. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be four days from now where we sit down and say, this is what it’s going to be Opening Day.”
Dale, you did know you were accepting the job to manage the Cubs, right?