TruffleShuffle wrote:even if one throws out dempster's fluky-good 2012, if you go back through the last 5 years (since returning as a starter) he's basically been a solid #2. 3.61 ERA, 118 ERA+, 1.29 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 8.2 K/9. those are the kind of numbers that teams were paying $15-20m a year for (john lackey, barry zito, aj burnett).
a lot of meatballs seem to know what an ace is (verlander, sabathia, felix hernandez) and what a back-of-rotation starter is (marquis), but have no concept of how to differentiate between a pitcher like ryan dempster and a pitcher like paul maholm or jeff suppan.
Keep in mind too the constant air of superiority that the AL has over the NL right now. They probably think the #1 pitcher in the NL is no better than a #4 starter in the AL.