According to a report on ESPN 1000 in Chicago from Bruce Levine, Ryan Dempster will be in Lou Piniella’s starting rotation in 2008. Back in May, Piniella promised to ‘shake up’ his pitching staff and Dempster reportedly was close to returning to the starting rotation. The move never happened, Dempster remained the closer and the effectiveness of Carlos Marmol helped solidify the bullpen.
Levine stated Bobby Howry, Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood, if the Cubs are able to resign Wood, are candidates for the closer’s position next year.
Updated – 9:30pm C.T. – With a Report from the Sun-Times confirming Dempster moving back to the Rotation Ryan Dempster was 2-7 with a 4.73 ERA in 66 games out of the pen last season. Dempster saved 28 of 31 games and has 87 saves since joining the Cubs in 2004. Dempster started 6 games in 2005 before taking over for LaTroy Hawkins. He was 1-3 with a 5.35 ERA (20 earned runs, 37 hits, 22 walks and 36 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings).
Dempster’s best season as starter came in 2000 as a member of the Florida Marlins. He was 14-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 33 starts. In 226 innings, he struck out 209. The last time Dempster made at least 30 starts in a single season was 2002 when he split time with the Marlins (18 starts) and the Reds (15 starts). He was a combined 10-13 with a 5.38 ERA (125 earned runs in 209 innings) in 33 starts with 93 walks and 153 strikeouts.
Will update if more information becomes available….
Update - According to a report by Chris De Luca in the Sun-Times on Tuesday night, Ryan Dempster will be in the Cubs starting rotation in 2008. Lou Piniella gave Dempster “the green light to move from the back of the bullpen to the rotation in time for Spring Training.“