September 16, 2006

Papelbon Says He's Starting In 2007


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 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.
I wholeheartedly approve.

9 comments:

The Couch Potato said...

I don't like it but short of paying an obscene amount of money for a free agent, I think it's the route the Sox have to take.

So...who closes next year? I'm guessing that Foulke has already indicated that he's picking up his option & the FO is banking on his return to good health.

Sean O said...

Unbelievable. It's like every time we get a good thing, the Sox try to do everything possible to fuck it up. Papelbon is not going to be a good starter, because yet again he really only has one good pitch.

Instead of having one of the most dominant closers of all time, we get Bronson Arroyo. I don't have faith in Papelbon as starter.

And now, we don't have a closer at all. Hansen's worthless, MDC can't keep the ball in the yard, Edgar Martinez is years away, Foulke sucks, Timlin's toast... Great move Theo.

Peter N said...

Let's not be too negative. I've been saying all along that replacing Paps will be tough...my God, look at his stats. But future events will dictate if this is a smart move, or if it is an impossibilty. So we are the victims, right now, of time. But to think that Foulkie can get his body to respond as it did pre-2004....we'll know when we know. And that's when the Sox FO will know, too.

Woti-woti said...

It makes sense to put the guys with the best arms in situations where thay can get the most outs-- unless, of course, their arms are only effective enough for 3 outs at a time. I think Paps is more of an 18- or 21-out guy and should be developed accordingly. As far as a closer goes--when did Paps get the closer job again? I don't think it was last September. Lots will happen between now and April. Where is the in-Theo-we-trust faith?

Sean O said...

woti-
The In Theo We Trust thing is with Edgar Renteria, Coco Crisp, Matt Clement, Julian Tavarez, Rudy Seanez, Freddy Sanchez, Josh Bard, Cla Meredith, John Halama and Matt Mantei. He's a hack, and he's converting a stud closer into a mediocre starter.

The "best arms in the most innings" thing only makes sense when you have multiple pitches. Does anyone think Mariano Rivera would've lasted 3 years as a starter?

Woti-woti said...

Sean o--I'll take that as a vote of no confidence, then.

I suspect the Sox FO, including Theo, are reviewing their standards and methodology of talent evalutation. So will everybody else. One great mystery is how did the National League get so bad, and how come nobody noticed until after the deals were done?

Woti-woti said...

Sean o- sorry, forgot to comment on Papelbon.
I wouldn't be so quick to write off a 25-year-old as 'only having 1 pitch.' I think he has the arm, the time and the motivation to develop a starter's repertoire. He certainly didn't need one as a closer.

L-girl said...

I've been really hoping that Papelbon remains the closer, and I feel pretty strongly that he should stay in that role. However, to say he can't be a starter because he has only one pitch is a bit much. He's young, he's had great success as a starter in his career before the bigs.

I want him to remain the closer because a great closer, which he has the potential to be, is an incredible asset, gives a huge advantage. It can make the difference in October. A lot of things went right for the Yankees in 98-99-00, but if you had to pick out one person who made the difference, it was Mariano.

Finding a very good, and potentially great, closer in your ranks is like striking gold. We've seen proven results, so I want to stay with it.

But I have every reason to think that he will succeed as a starter, too. I wouldn't predict gloom and doom over Papelbon in the rotation!

L-girl said...

Oops, I should have mentioned Foulke in the 2004 playoffs in the same breath as Mariano. Sorry Keith.