In the last couple weeks, the Texas Rangers reinforced their starting rotation with the addition of Ryan Dempster, upgraded at catcher with Geovany Soto, and looked within their organization to bolster the bench with Mike Olt. A couple trips to the World Series have magnified the needs of a ballclub looking to make a third appearance in the Fall Classic.
“Knowing what we’ve been through to get to those points. Knowing a little bit more about some of the specific needs that fit down the stretch in October really, and even having a better sense of the kind of players we want to supply Ron Washington and his staff with and put out there on the field, in that sense we can kind of go into each season with very specific needs in mind and target those needs,” Rangers director of professional scouting Josh Boyd said.
Boyd was a recent guest on Rangers Magazine on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Boyd also discussed the scouting of Dempster and Soto, the scouts that cover Major League teams and the format of the department, scouting near the non-waiver trade deadline, the breakdown of the scouting seasons, and scouting in Japan following the signing of Yu Darvish.
Among the targeted needs was a starting pitcher, and that need became greater when Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz were lost for the year due to injuries. When the Rangers begin a seven-game road trip tonight with the first of four against the New York Yankees, Dempster will make his third start for the Rangers -- his second on the road.
“I think with Colby going down, it’s not that you look to try and go ‘alright, let’s find who is similar to Colby,’” Boyd said. “I think the fact that Dempster has been around. The fact that he has swing and miss pitches. He’s a strike thrower and improving throughout his career. I think those were big factors for our guys in having a comfort level there that he would be able to step in.”
“Colby’s got the slider, and Dempster’s got the slider and a splitter. Coming over to the American League and the adjustment, I think the fact that he’s got some pitches that miss bats was a big factor.”
In his recent start at Boston, Dempster earned the win as he struck out six in 6.2 innings. One of the bats he did not miss was that of Will Middlebrooks who followed Ian Kinsler’s 2-out error in the 7th with a three-run home run. The Rangers won that game 6-3. Dempster is 4-3 with a 1.64 ERA in 10 road starts this season.
Hear more about Dempster when you listen to the podcast.