ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Ryan Dempster finally has a chance to start for the Texas Rangers.
Traded Tuesday from the Chicago Cubs, Dempster arrived in the Metroplex about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and spent the remainder of the afternoon getting adjusted to his fourth major league team - the one that drafted him in the third round in 1995 out of a high school in British Columbia. He was traded as a minor leaguer and made his big league debut with the Florida Marlins in 1998.
"It's neat to get drafted by them as an 18-year-old kid and to end up back here pitching," Dempster said.
The 35-year-old has gone from being a starter to a closer and back to starting again during his 15 year major league career. He entered Wednesday with a 2.25 ERA, second in the major leagues only to the 2.22 of San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong
"He's happy to be here, and I'm equally happy to have him" Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He can be support for our young pitching staff."
On Thursday night, he'll make his first start for the AL West leaders, who have reached the World Series in each of the last two years.
"I've gone from fifth place to first, and have a chance to go back to the playoffs," said Dempster, who also has pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, and pitched in the postseason for the Cubs in 2007-08.
The 35-year-old Dempster said much of his success this season has come from a cut fastball he began working on during spring training.
"I always threw a slider, but the cutter is the new pitch in baseball in general," Dempster said. "It's a pitch, when you can throw it in the right spot, it's hard to square up."