After healthy spring, Dempster ready to face Yanks

After healthy spring, Dempster ready to face Yanks

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After showering and doing his postgame interviews, right-hander Ryan Dempster picked up a blue binder with a label identifying it as the Red Sox's 2013 advance scouting report on the Yankees before leaving Hammond Stadium on Friday.

It was a sure sign that Spring Training is almost over, that the attention has now turned to the upcoming regular season. Dempster is scheduled to pitch the Sox's third game at Yankee Stadium and it's time for him to begin that preparation.

"I'm ready for the season to start, so it's exciting to get through camp healthy and I'm looking forward to going out there Thursday and pitching," said Dempster, who allowed three runs, three hits, three walks and struck out four over four frames of the Red Sox's 8-3 loss to the Twins. "It's been a really good camp health-wise. I feel really good and my pitches are coming together nicely."

This will be the first time that Dempster has been a participant in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry after signing as a free agent last offseason, and he's looking forward to it.

"It's exciting," said Dempster. "It's a really unique experience that you don't get playing for another team. At the same time, you've got to control those emotions and treat it like any other game, even though I think the players are the only ones who do that. It will be a lot of fun."

In six Grapefruit League starts, Dempster was 1-2 with a 3.74 ERA.

"He should be happy," said manager John Farrell. "He got through it healthy and gained arm strength as he went along. I thought he used all his assortment of pitches [Friday] and to finish out with 70-some pitches, which was the outing we designed for him. He goes into the start of the year in good shape."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.