Officially, it's being mentioned now as merely a thought, one of many issues to discuss during the winter months, but after reading Jonathan Papelbon's comments in the Globe, Herald, Courant and ProJo and at MLB, it sounds fairly definite -- he'll be part of the 2007 starting rotation.
[The Red Sox] talked to my agent and my agent agrees with them. We've talked to plenty of doctors. ... Something can very possibly easily change where we don't really get any help in the bullpen. I could go back. But right now the whole mind-set is that I'm probably going to go back to the rotation. ...I wholeheartedly approve.
I just envision myself as a starter because of my body frame, my body type, my mentality. ... I'm going to take my goals, my plan in the offseason, as if I'm going to be a starter. I think, for me, it was a big eye-opener this year with our starting pitching, that you have to have starting pitching in order to get to your closer. If you don't have starting pitching, you ain't getting to your closer. ...
I've started here; I've done it before. It's not going to be anything new to me. ... There's no hesitation in my mind whatsoever of me going out and starting, just like there was no question or hesitation of me starting out the year as a closer.