AT wrote:I've been following Papelbon since he was in the minors, and Hansen since he was with St. John's since it's about 15 minutes from my house... and if the Red Sox take Papelbon out of the closer's role next year they are absolutely insane. Have they not paid any attention to the biggest reason for Yankee success over the last decade?!?!
I love Hansen and I love Papelbon, I really do. But their best bet is to put them 1-2 in THE BULLPEN, not in their Rotation. Hansen in the 8th and Papelbon in the 9th is such a sexy proposition. They'd be out of their minds to tinker with it. A rotation next year of...
Is not bad when you couple it with the best bullpen in the majors and the likelihood that the Sox will add another pitcher to that rotation somewhere around the #3 spot moving everyone else down...
I wouldn't mess with it. Lights out closers and lights out setup men don't grow on trees and they're among the most important things in the game.
Fair points but like others have said, Papelbon will in all likelihood be in the rotation next year where he will be of greater value. The plan all along has been for Papelbon to be a starter and for Hansen to be the eventual closer. Papelbon's success this season isn't going to change that, although it will (and rightfully should) give the F.O. pause.
Removing Papelbon from the closer's role next year isn't as insane an idea as others are making it out to be. Aside from the fact that we're not even halfway home and who knows how JP will fare from here out, there is precedent for removing a stud closer and putting him in the rotation.....and the Sox don't even need to look past their own backyard.
From 1999-2001, Derek Lowe had 81 saves, 241 K's and a 2.90 ERA as Red Sox closer and was an All-Star in 2000 as closer. Urbina was Lowe's replacement for the second half of 2001 and the entire 2002 season and totaled 49 saves with a 2.65 ERA. Fair replacement I'd say.
What happened to Lowe the year after he was moved into the rotation? All he did was go 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA, finishing 3rd in Cy Young voting.
I know Papelbon and Lowe have different skill sets and Papelbon is more suited to closing than Lowe was but the point I'm making is that removing Papelbon as closer next season, sliding him into the rotation, and either making Hansen the closer or bringing in a closer for a year if they deem Hansen not ready and instead have him setup, is not insane. It's been done before.