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Old 02-17-2007, 03:46 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Bronco LB 52 View Post
Papelbon most likely will be the #4 guy after Daisuke, Schilling, Beckett and before Lester/Wakefield.

Papelbon came up through the system as the starter and with three quality pitches, that has always been the long-term plan for him. Plus, the Red Sox are from the Moneyball think tank and they don't put a lot of value into the closers role. They think Papelbon throwing one inning entering the game with nobody on base is a waste of his talent.

Last year, they put Papelbon in the pen to ease him into the majors and cap the usage of miles on his arm. He only threw 68 1/3 innings last season. After one year, they feel ready to take the training wheels off. Considering how he pitched as a starter in Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, I think Papelbon is ready for the challenge. He's 26 years old, past the 20-25 danger range for young pitchers and he's ready for an increased workload to 170-200 IP. I wouldn't worry, the Red Sox are the last team that will run him into the ground like Dusty Baker.
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