March 3, 2007

Papelbon Sharp In Debut

2007 starter Jonathan Papelbon made his first spring appearance out of the bullpen.

He pitched the 3rd and 4th innings against the Phillies this afternoon, in relief of Tim Wakefield (2-3-2-1-0-2), retiring all six batters he faced, striking out four (including Ryan Howard on a 93 MPH heater). He threw 26 pitches, 18 strikes.

Other Sox did not fare so well on the hill. Joel Piniero allowed four hits, four runs and two walks in 1.1 innings.

And Manny Delcarmen faced seven batters: three hits, two walks, two outs (and three runs allowed). Tito:
The troubling thing about Manny today was the lack of making an adjustment. In Spring Training, everyone is going to give up runs, or you're not going to have your good stuff, or it's early. But, again, we want to see a guy make some adjustments, not keep throwing a fastball up and away. ... That was a little troubling.
Boston lost 12-9 in 10 innings (box).

10 comments:

Sox fan in Delaware said...

With Papelbon in the starting rotation the Sox pitching could rock this year. Unfortunately, other than Papelbon, I don't see any of the other pitchers that seem to have the "right stuff" to be a closer - not just talent but attitude. One solution I haven't heard discussed is to bring Roger Clemens back to Boston as THE closer. Could/would Clemens do it?

Peter N said...

A long shot, SFD...not while the Sox could, IF THEY HAVE TO, insert Jon Lester into the rotation and bring back "lights-out" Papelbon to the closer role. That MIGHT happen, but it's a long month, and the 'pen, the Sox 'pen, which right now with the exception of Mr. Donnelly, is devoid of heroes, has to have someone stand up and say....I'M THE CLOSER." Hasn't happened yet. Might never! I hope not.

redsock said...

Fat Billy is not open to closing.

I'm more concered with talent than attitude, though I know Rob Dribble thinks I've got it completely backwards. And he played the game, whereas I am nothing more than a nerdy stat-monger ...

Anyway, a closer can act like Mariano Rivera or Al Hrabosky. It doesn't matter. Guy's got to pitch.

And remember, no one knew Pap had the "right stuff" out of the pen before 2006. A few people thought it might be a decent idea. Foulke was our guy when the season began.

I'm not concerned. All I want are guys who can get outs. Whoever ends up being the first guy to shake Varitek's hand at the end of the game is not terribly important.

9casey said...

Redsock said:
I'm not concerned. All I want are guys who can get outs. Whoever ends up being the first guy to shake Varitek's hand at the end of the game is not terribly important.


Would you feel that same way if Timlin was the closer

redsock said...

He wouldn't be my first choice -- or my second -- but if he can get guys out and not allow runs, why not?

If no one shines brightly in camp, we might see the actual bullpen committee put into place. I would love that and I know Tito understands it.

Most of the guys in the pen this year have filled numerous roles in the past, so depending on work load, who's pitching well and who is coming up for the other team in the 8th and 9th, you could treat these guys sort of like LOOGYs or ROOGYs and use Timlin or Donnelly or Pineiro or Tavarez. Whichever matchup makes the most sense.

Just like teams do with pinch-hitters. (No one seems to bat an eye at moves like that, or call them wacky.)

Jere said...

I also think the "committee" idea can work--in a perfect world. But the fact is, the closer does exist the way it is now, so you do need a guy who has the mindset for it AND can get outs.

There's no doubt in my mind Timlin has what it takes mentally to be a closer--but I wouldn't necessarily want him there, especially at this stage of his career, because he won't necessarily get outs. However, I wouldn't want a rookie who can get outs--let's say, if called in in the seventh--but who cracks under the pressure once you call him "the closer" and make him pitch the ninth. I absolutely believe some pitchers' performance will be affected by whether they're pitching a ninth inning or not. Most of them, in fact, if they're human.

This is why we had such a special thing in Pap--no, we didn't know if he could handle it mentally, but he showed us he could, WHILE getting outs, and doing better at it than anyone in the whole league.

But, yeah, I'd love it if we did a committee and it worked so well that the rest of the league started to follow suit, changing the face of Bullpenia Americana. And Canadiana.

redsock said...

Jere, you're right. These guys are not robots. Maybe having a clear head knowing what their clearly defined job is helps them concentrate and pitch better.

Still, I'll bet they could adapt somewhat.

I wouldn't jerk Delcarmen or Hansen around from the 7th to the 9th, etc., but the main guys vying for the spot should be a little flexible.

Actually, what I want is if Tito tabs someone to be the "closer" and he feels the game is on the line in the 7th inning, he'll bring him -- presumably his best pitcher -- in. And worry about the 9th in the 9th.

I actually think this might happen. I also think I am setting myself up to be royally pissed off when it does not happen and a back of the pen arm blows a few games in the 6th or 7th (games that are thus out of reach in the 9th).

L-girl said...

One solution I haven't heard discussed is to bring Roger Clemens back to Boston as THE closer. Could/would Clemens do it?


If you've watched Clemens closely for the past 5 or so years, you do not want him to close. He usually takes an inning and a half just to settle down and find a groove. The bigger the game, the longer it takes. Not good in a closer.

L-girl said...

Actually, what I want is if Tito tabs someone to be the "closer" and he feels the game is on the line in the 7th inning, he'll bring him -- presumably his best pitcher -- in. And worry about the 9th in the 9th.

I actually think this might happen.


You are dreaming.

And you are forgetting all the whining and complaining and yelling at the TV you've done for the last however-many years.

Tito needs a closer. He can't operate without it. He doesn't know how. He's not as clueless as some other unmentionables, but he can't work the committee.

It's a very viable idea, like Jere said in a perfect world, but with this Sox world, Terry Francona manager, no go.

I also think I am setting myself up to be royally pissed off

So stop wishing for it and start wanting a closer. We need it.

9casey said...

L-girl, good for you....Redsock is trying to convince himself he is allright with this.....

Remember last sept. when you guys where ready to go to the skydome and snipe Timlin in your feminsist wetsuit or something like that ...whatever it was it was friggin hilarious......

Tito and Theo will have set closer by opening day...

And for Delcarmen he stinks I will be suprised if he makes the big league roster.....