April 14, 2006

Foulke Has Been Impressive

Keith Foulke pitched two innings last night -- and looked fantastic. Six batters, 21 pitches, only one ball hit out of the infield. Good location of his pitches and a very nice velocity differential between the change and fastball.

It's obviously too early to make any kind of determination, but I wonder what timetable the club has for moving Jonathan Papelbon into the rotation. Terry Francona says the team does not want to "start shuttling him back and forth" from the pen to the rotation, which makes perfect sense.

If Wells and/or Clement continues to struggle, perhaps we'll see Pap get stretched out, coming in for the 8th and 9th innings, then maybe the final three frames. Ideally, lefty Jon Lester would fill the role Papelbon did last year in the second half (Hansen may also come up), freeing Pap to move into the rotation. I can't recall any quotes about it, but I'm positive Papelbon will put into the rotation next season no matter what.

Wily Mo Pena says David Ortiz "was one of the first people to help me, and I feel good about it. ... He's on me all the time, and I need that. And I go to the cage with Papa Jack every day and it's work, work, work. That's how (Ortiz) got better, working hard. And that's what I'm going to do." Pena's line-drive home run to dead center on Wednesday night was impressive, but more encouraging was his opposite field single earlier in that game and his eight-pitch walk in the bottom of the ninth last night.

Bob Ryan talked to Red Sox pitchers about their hitting exploits. ... Trot Nixon could be back in the lineup on Tuesday. ... Don't tell Sheff: Chris House has his season tickets back.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I generally agree with Bill James that "the place for rookie pitchers is in long relief," but Jon P is a tweener here. He was up last year, he can get major league batters out, and he should be slid into the rotation in either Wells or Clement slot (your choice, guys). The risk is that if he has several bad outings he might start making himself crazy, as young pitchers do.

Heck, so do old pitchers.