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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 10, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3768035)
If Papelbon is right I think there are still two issues;

1 - Who is the guy in front of Papelbon? I imagine this will get worked out by availability but on a day when Bard and Jenks are both available for the eighth I think Tito has a little balancing act to keep both pitchers happy.

2 - I really hope that in key spots Tito doesn't get too LOOGY happy. I'd hate to see us losing games because Okajima doesn't get Cano or Lind out while Jenks and Bard are watching from the bullpen.
   2. Dan Posted: March 13, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3769757)
Perhaps the Red Sox should send Miller down to start, but doesn't his usage in ST suggest that the Sox are considering him for the MLB bullpen? He's still in camp, and he's pitching 1-2 inning stints fairly often, rather than 3+ innings every 5 days. He's pitched in 4 games, but only 5 1/3 innings, and he's scheduled to throw at least one inning today. That doesn't look like a guy being treated as a starting pitcher.

While it would be nice to have him as a potential starter, I think the Red Sox are doing the right thing with Miller, considering the team's depth at SP and Miller's stuff and somewhat iffy control. Miller seems like he has the opportunity to be a left-handed version of Bard at the end of games (I'm picturing the 2002 version of Alan Embree). He has the potential to be a far more dominant lefty arm than the likes of Okajima or Reyes or Hill.
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 21, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3774898)
So any doubt about Miller making the team probably went out the window yesterday. What does Hill have for options? With Tito's cryptic comments about Wake/Aceves last week it seems that the bullpen now shakes out as;

Papelbon
Jenks
Bard
Wheeler

as definites. That leaves;

Wakefield/Aceves/Atchison

I don't think Atchison has an option and Aceves does which plays into Atchison's favor. Then there is;

Reyes/Hill/Okajima

The Sox will definitely carry one of them. I have no sense of which that will be and I don't think any of the three have options. Let's for now assume Hill;

Papelbon
Jenks
Bard
Wheeler
Hill
Atchison/Wakefield
Okajima/Reyes

It seems like the Sox are going to have to lose two of those last five (Hill, Atchison, Wake, Oki, Reyes) that they would prefer not to...I think the big question is do the Sox want to carry two lefties or Wake and Atchison both? With Aceves in the minors I think the safer course is to let one of Wake or Atchison go but I think they love Atchison and Wake is Wake. I've got to think Terry Francona desperately wants to avoid cutting Tim Wakefield a week before the season starts.
   4. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3774919)
I have no sense of which that will be and I don't think any of the three have options.
Hill and Reyes are signed to minor-league deals.

Atchison and Okajima have options, but Oki's contract requires him to give permission before he can be optioned. I think it's a moot point; either he's with the big-league club or he's gone.

The wild card in this is Matt Albers. He's on the 40-man, and has no options. 8.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K this spring, which is offered up simply to say he hasn't played his way off the 40-man yet. There's a decent chance that Hill and Reyes start the year in the minors, and either Atchison or Oki also go there, and Albers gets a spot instead.

Mind you, this logjam is a great problem to have. Usually a bullpen has too many guys you want to get rid of. You can make (and some have made) the argument that Papelbon, Wake, and Oki should be gone; but even if they were all sent packing, someone decent would have to start the year in the minors.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 21, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3774935)
Oh, that's great news. I thought Reyes and Hill were MLB or bust.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3774957)
According to this blurb in the Herald, Atchison has options remaining. Albers doesn't, so I'm assuming Albers makes the club over Atchison.

While Reyes is on a minor-league contract, he has an opt-out clause if he is not on the active roster to start the season. Reyes' comments to Pete Abraham in the Globe suggest to me that Reyes has no plans to begin the season in the minor leagues.
There’s always another team out there that can use a lefthanded reliever. "I’m not worried," Reyes said yesterday. "I know I’ll be pitching somewhere."
Abraham generally also conveyed the sense that Okajima would be willing to start the season in the minors if the Sox choose to option him down. Barring injury, then, this looks like the bullpen:

Papelbon, Bard, Jenks, Wheeler, Reyes, Albers, Wakefield
   7. Dan Posted: March 21, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3775060)
nickcafardo Nick Cafardo
Papelbon: 1-1/3, 1Ks, 2BB, 1H. Twenty eight pitches vs Rays A-ball. Declined to speak to reporters.


Good to see that Papelbon has his #### together...
   8. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3775132)
Papelbon: 1-1/3, 1Ks, 2BB, 1H. Twenty eight pitches vs Rays A-ball. Declined to speak to reporters.
I see in the near future a repeat of the Foulke/Papelbon switch, except with Papelbon/Jenks/Bard plus some weasely language about them all being capable of closing.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 25, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3778331)
Scott Atchison has officially been sent to Pawtucket.
   10. villageidiom Posted: March 26, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3778588)
Hill is also going to the minors. And Wakefield made the team.

Aceves, Albers, Reyes, and Oki are contending for the final two spots. Two of them (Oki and Aceves) can be sent down, two can't. So MCoA's bullpen in #6 seems likely.
   11. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 28, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3779639)
Reyes has been added to the roster.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 28, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3779840)
From Extra Bases today on how Reyes will be used;

"We'll see," Francona said. "Dennis is our only left but we're certainly not going to knock (Daniel) Bard out in favor of a lefty. But earlier in the game, sometimes if we're winning or a pitcher comes out early, maybe to get a big lefty.


Just a thought but it seems to me that Theo did some nice work this off-season lining up a deep bullpen that allowed him to send some guys to the minors. They aren't All Stars or anything but guys like Aceves, Okajima and Hill strike me as a pretty strong group of non-prospects to have lingering in AAA.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM (#3781081)
So, this happened two days ago, but I was busy doing other stuff and didn't notice. Turns out that, per Abraham in the Globe, the Sox demoted Aceves and Okajima, leaving the last bullpen spots to Reyes and Albers. With the depth the sox have in AAA, both those guys will need to perform if they want to remain on the club through the second half.

Abraham also reports that Andrew Miller is ticketed for the starting rotation in Pawtucket. This is good news, suggesting the Sox at least want to roll the dice on Miller's possible upside as a front of the rotation starter.

Also, Dennys Reyes has some of the most striking rodent cheeks I've seen on a ballplayer since Matt Stairs. The Gerbil and The Hamster are taken. Perhaps El Paca?

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