- From: rpmachemer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Bob-Nob)
- Date: 28 Aug 2005 13:52:13 -0400
He's not pitched a lot of innings, so any conclusions made from his
major league numbers are most likely hastily-made. He pitched great in
the minors. If I remember correctly, he was striking out lots of batters
in the minors, with not too many walks, but a few more home runs allowed
than one would generally prefer. (Well, ok, one would prefer Sox pitchers
never allow home runs, but he was giving up more home runs than one might
expect from a pitcher who otherwise seemed so dominant).
To this point in the majors, he's pitched 19 innings, with 19 K's,
21 hits allowed, 10 unintentional walks, 2 HBP's, and 3 home runs allowed.
DIPS suggests that (ignoring the low number of innings) he's not been
all that great. His ERA suggest otherwise...
What to do with him? My short answer: I don't know. That he seems
to be on a path to stardom (barring injury or meltdown) is clear, but
injuries and meltdowns do happen (see Kerry Woods and Rick Ankiel, for
two). If his ERA is the better indication of what he will do from here
on out, one has to be sorely tempted to give him a ton of responsibility
(because very few other Boston pitchers have been pitching all that well
of late), but, again, the images of Kerry Woods and Rick Ankiel come to
mind. The golden goose was killed by people who hoped to get even more
than the golden eggs they were already getting.
And again, DIPS does NOT think he has been all that good so far.
If one ignores the smallness of the sample and thinks that the DIPS
numbers are more indicative of what is to come, then he's set to pitch
worse than any other starter on the team from here on. DIPS suggests
he's been lucky so far, perhaps giving up his home runs with no one on,
or perhaps scattering hits and walks and HBPs allowed throughout his
innings. Do the Sox want to place too much faith in a young pitcher
who's peripheral numbers suggest he's not ready to be heavily relied
And yet... one can't know what Papelbon is capable of until one
tries him. Perhaps he is mentally ready. Those DIPS numbers are
undoubtedly affected by the low numbers of batters faced so far. If
Papelbon pitches another 20 innings without giving up a home run, his
dERA will drop considerably. And this team, this 2005 Red Sox team,
it definitely needs someone like Papelbon to pitch like the 1981
Fernando Valenzuela. And he's certainly capable of it.
So, where do people stand on this? Me? I guess I'm of the mind
that disasters like Ankiel (or Calvin Schiraldi, if you want) are few
enough and far between that I would not want to make decisions based
on the potential for those sorts of problems. So, I don't worry too
much about it (although I do note it as a possibility). I don't know
enough about pitching (nor do I get to watch the games enough anyway)
to know whether he's better suited to pitching in relief or starting
at this point. If he's pretty much only going to be throwing fastballs,
I'd guess he's better off in relief, but I definitely would rather have
him as a starter than a reliever, if he'd be effective as a starter.
How did he look yesterday when he wasn't completely dominant?
The same? Different? What do people think should be done with him?
The Sox have holes both in the rotation and in the bullpen, so it's not
like there aren't places for him to pitch. Where would you put him?
Catch you later.
Robert Paul Aubrey Machemer | "For each time he falls, he shall
Amherst College, Math & Classics | rise again, and woe to the wicked!"
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