Friday, March 11, 2011

Daily Debate: How Should the Red Sox Handle Their Bullpen?

The Red Sox made a major move this offseason signing former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks. This gave the team a loaded back end of the bullpen. They now have to figure out how to manage Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and Jenks, each having closer-ability.

In my opinion, the Red Sox have no choice but to put Paps in the closer role, seeing as he's beng paid 9.3 million dollars. Fans in New England have been growing tired of Papelbon, but I'm not really sure why. While I understand he has been a "haht attack closah," he's still been amongst the best in the game. Last year, Papelbon saved 37 games, but tallied a career high 3.90 ERA. However, Papelbon has put up monster numbers every other reason of his career, so I see no reason why he shouldn't at least approach his career averages of 38 saves on a 2.22 ERA.

The real question is what to do with the other two guys. Both are righties, so you can't send them out for match up purposes. I think they should send out Jenks in the 7th, followed by Bard in the 8th. They have made it clear that Bard is their closer of the future, so why not put him in the highest-pressure position as possible, to prepare him for his role of closer next year. He is a proven innings eater and should perform spectacularly in this role. But whatever, happens, I just hope the team sets up their bullpen with defined roles.

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