Ryan Dempster on MFB: Red Sox 'need a big-time shot from the inside'

May 28, 2014 - 10:56 am

MLB Network analyst and former pitcher Ryan Dempster joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss Clay Buchholz and the current state of the Red Sox. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. Dempster was under contract to pitch for the Red Sox this season, but he announced during spring training that he would not pitch in 2014, forfeiting his $13.25 million contract in the process. "No [regrets.] Obviously, there'€™s parts of you that misses it, but given everything and all the circumstances. ... I'€™m super at peace with my decision,"€ Dempster said. "I've been throwing to my son'€™s Little League team quite a bit, and I tell you, I get about 60 pitches in and I get pretty sore, so I think I made the right choice." Buchholz has underwhelmed all season, as the righty currently boasts a 2-4 record with a 7.02 ERA and 1.98 WHIP. In his last start against the Braves on Monday, Buchholz surrendered six earned runs while walking a career-high eight batters. "œI don'€™t know for certain and he doesn't want to say anything because he battled it all last year and he feels like it'€™s a responsibility to be out there,"€ Dempster said. "€œI don'€™t know if he'€™s going through a confidence issue. I've been there. ... In 2011, I started April off 0-4 with a 9.50 ERA, that'€™s hard to do. ... You've just got to find a way to battle through that and try to remember all the good things you've done and all the positive things you've done." Demspter added: "It'€™s a mental game out there and it'€™s a tough game, so I just think that you've really just got to battle through it. ... He doesn't look sharp. You go through those times and it'€™s a grind, but you've got to figure out a way to get through it." While the Red Sox have struggled to remain at .500 throughout the season, Dempster stated that it takes time for a roster to mesh at the start of a new year. "€œIt was surprising because I know the talent that'€™s in there, but at the same time, just like going into the 2013 season, it was a whole different roster than the 2012 season. ... It takes a little while to jell. ... Two weeks ago, they'€™re a game over .500 and a game out of first place and everybody'€™s talking about they'€™re right there again, and they just fell into a slump. ... Adversity is their middle name, they'€™re ready for anything and they'€™re up for the challenge. I look forward to seeing them go out there and compete for the division again towards the end of the season." The Red Sox reportedly are scouring the trade market for help, but Dempster believes that help can come from within the current roster. "€œI think they need a big-time shot from the inside. ... Some guys are struggling a little bit and you lose a guy like Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the lineup who not only just gets on base a lot but is a threat when he'€™s on base. ... [Mike] Napoli'€™s hurt and [Shane] Victorino'€™s out and [Will] Middlebrooks has been hurt off and on and also hasn't performed like he'€™s capable of performing, so they just need somebody in the lineup to step up." For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.