Will Carroll gives his two cents (and a ton of great analysis) on Jon Papelbon’s move to the pen from a medical slant. One of the things he talks about is how relievers can go into a game without properly warming up (and then having to throw at 100%). It’s premium so I don’t want to give too much up but if you’re on the fence about subscribing to Baseball Prospectus, Will Carroll’s Under the Knife column is probably worth the price along. Not to diminish the other writers because you get a ton of great analysis, but you should rest assured that you’ll get your money’s worth.
Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus recently posted a very interesting unfiltered entry that talks about Jon Papelbon’s move back to closer, along with some updated projections. Looks almost like it’s a wash as far as Papelbon goes although they don’t think too highly of Julian Tavarez. Solid read though.
I guess this solves the “who’s the closer” question but the Red Sox announced Jon Papelbon is getting his old job back and he’ll close for the Red Sox. It was supposed to be medical reasons that moved him into the rotation but they must have found a doctor to vouch for him. Julian Tavarez will get the rotation spot vacated by Papelbon.
I don’t like the move and even if Papelbon makes it through the season, I think his long term prospects diminish. Look at what’s happened with Eric Gagne. Guys like Mariano Rivera are a little freakish (in a good way) and aren’t a good comparison but the shelf life for a closer isn’t normally that good. Then again, they didn’t have anyone solid for the job so it makes sense in that respect.
In an interesting and short article, Chris Kline gets an American League scout’s opinion on Red Sox prospects Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden. He gives Buchholz the edge because he likes the fact that he has four pitches It looks like Buchholz will start the season at Double a while Bowden will be at High A to start the 2007 season.
Ben Jacobs recently reviewed the Red Sox over at the Hardball Times. It’s their standard five questions format and he touches on everything from how good Dice-K is to who is the most likely choice at closer. He doesn’t make a formal prediction but he’s pretty optimistic while also hedging himself because of the question marks in the rotation.
Red Sox pitching held the Orioles to a run on five hits today. Kason Gabbard and Julian Tavarez looked sharp with three shutout innings each and the only run was scored against reliever Bryan Corey.
Joe McEwing was all over the place. He not only played at three different spots in the infield but he also had two hits in the game and he scored a run.
The Red Sox get the day off tomorrow and then they square off against the Twins on Tuesday.
In a recent story on the top rookies heading into 2007, Daisuke Matsuzaka topped the list. Best case they have him with a borderline Cy Young season with the worst case being something close to what Josh Beckett put up in 2006. Also making the list is second baseman Dustin Pedoria who grabbed the 16th spot although his upside is nearly spectacular (and his downside involves Alex Cora).
Michael Bowden, the third best prospect for the Red Sox according to BasebalL America, was recently interviewed by Baseball America. There’s a lot of good stuff here, incuding what his biggest accomplishments have been developmentally as well as his primary goals for the upcoming season. Good stuff and it looks like it’s open to non-subscribers.
It’s been a good spring so far for Matsuzaka as he raised his scoreless inning streak to five this spring. He did give up a walk and give up two hits but he also struck out three. More info. on how Matsuzaka threw, there’s a great post on BP Unfiltered by Kevin Goldstein about a scouts ‘take on his performance. The conclusion was that while he didn’t show ace stuff, it’s still early in the spring and he definitely could reach that point.
Ed Rodgers had a nice day at the plate yesterday. He went two for two with three RBIs, a stolen base and two runs. Tim Wakefield will go for the Red Sox today in their game against the Mets.
The Red Sox kicked off their spring season yesterday against the Twins and the game ended in a ten inning tie. Curt Schilling gave up two hits in his two innings of work and the only Red Sox to really get tagged was Julian Tavarez, who gave up three runs and four hits in an inning of work.
On the hitting side, Ellsbury drove in two runs and David Murphy had the only two hit game on the team. The Red Sox square off against the Blue Jays today in about an hour.
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