Ryan Dempster will return from his five-game suspension for throwing at Alex Rodriguez and start next Friday, the Red Sox announced.
Because the Red Sox have off days tomorrow and Monday the suspension didn’t really force them to juggle the rotation a whole lot. Without the suspension Dempster would have been in line to start Saturday against the Dodgers, but they can simply move up Jon Lester to take his place while also moving up Jake Peavy.
And because Dempster has a 4.77 ERA, including 27 runs allowed in 35 innings since the All-Star break, skipping him for one turn in the rotation isn’t such a bad thing for the Red Sox anyway.
As for Dempster, he basically gets a week of paid vacation and then will return to the mound on August 30 against a weak-hitting White Sox lineup at Fenway Park, where the Boston crowd will no doubt give him a big ovation. Helluva punishment.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.