February 19, 2006

The Journey Has Begun

Good news! Jonathan Papelbon will work out as a starter this spring.

Theo Epstein:
[His role] remains to be seen, but he's going to be stretched out and go through spring training as a starting pitcher. We have as many as seven starting pitchers, but those things have a way of working themselves out. You can't get ready as a reliever and all of a sudden be ready to start. You've got to get ready as a starting pitcher, so that's the way we're going to approach it.
Curt Schilling:
I think he's a guy you'd benefit more from getting 200 innings out of him [rather] than 60. I look at him as a guy, makeup-wise, who's not far from being a consistent winner in the big leagues. ... [Papelbon] is one of those guys who having him in the rotation makes you a better team.
He'll probably still begin the year in the bullpen. Even if (when?) David Wells gets traded, there are still five other starters (barring injury): Schilling, Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Bronson Arroyo, and Matt Clement.

Schilling has been talking with Beckett: "I started laying out the media minefield for him. I explained to him that there were three or four of you guys he can trust, and the rest he can kick to the curb."

Curt also says he's feeling great and is hoping to make 35 starts and pitch 245 innings:
For the first time since April 2004, there really is no physical limit to getting ready for me. ... About six or seven weeks ago, I turned a corner [and] I could do manual work, you know, running, moving and a lot of the things that go with staying in shape and getting in pitching shape, and that's made a big difference. There's no comparison (to 2005). Last year was a matter of trying to survive game-to-game ...
Kevin Youkilis on playing first base:
I got a chance to play first base last year. And I played first base my senior year in high school. I have a lot to learn, but it's not like it's new. This spring, it'll mostly be taking a lot of reps at first base and getting the timing down.
John Flaherty talks about the Yankees. ... Extra Bases, the Globe's blog, has updates throughout the day. ... The Globe and MLB both have good photo galleries.

The journey has begun.

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