Farewell Pap, Hello Heffers.
Posted by athomeatfenway on December 30, 2011
I’m going to miss Papelbon. I’ll miss his insane behavior, like the 2007 underwear dance on the Fenway diamond with cameras rolling and fans agog. I will miss the personality transformation he frequently effected after fist bumping Captain Porky at the BP gate, striding to the grass aside the pitching mound where he would be still and silently transform into a glaring, fire throwing mounds man.
Awards eluded Pap in Beantown. Pap failed to take the Rolaids AL Relief Award even once. The honors went to K Rod (twice), JJ Putz, Mo Rivera (twice), Rafael Soriano and Jose Valverde. Rolaids or not, there were 3 or 4 years in which batters feared no one more than Papelbon. He relieved hitters of their bats. He extinguished them. Made them look hapless.
Pap finished 2nd to Justin Verlander for the 2006 ROY, a year in which Verlander’s 17 wins trumped Pap’s .092 ERA and 35 saves.
Awards or not, Pap was the Man in Boston.
Pap posted a 2.33 ERA with 219 Saves in 6.5 Red Sox seasons. If he can continue to do what he has been doing for the next 7 years he will finish with the 5th most saves in history.
Yankee fans suggest that Pap wasn’t really that effective anymore. I say he is what he has always been: one of the top 5 closers in Baseball.
The Sox Bullpen has shaped up very nicely with Melancon hired for the 8th and Andrew Bailey for the 9th.
The 27 year old Bailey has a 2.07 career ERA, 75 Saves and, even better, a career 0.954 WHIP. He doesn’t let put a lot of men on base. He’s a 6’3”, 240 pound Hoss, but he doesn’t throw like one. He’s a control pitcher. This all sounds good to me. If we had to lose Papelbon, at least we got a young and capable replacement.
You really have to like the trade for Mark Melancon. Big Ben sent often injured Jed Lowrie and soft throwing Kyle Weiland to the Astros for the 26 year old former Yankee farmhand, who secured 20 Saves and a 2.78 ERA for Houston in 2011.
Melancon. Bailey. They have lots in common. Both are young, right handed, with the size and build of a linebacker, and both are C-H-E-A-P. They are each making less than $500,000 in 2012. Melancon isn’t arbitration eligible until 2014.
The Bullpen moves are a feather in the Cherrington cap. Put these guys together with “Everyday” Alfredo Aceves and the healing Bobby Jenks and one begins to feel optimistic about the 2012 relief corps.
And a meaty corps it is. These 4 fellows weigh in at a combined 950 pounds. Although they are all big guys, there is some disparity in price. Andrew Bailey comes to us for just $1,937 per pound. Bobby Jenks, on the other hand, costs $26,636 per LB. And there is 275 pounds of him to go around.
I believe we’ve got more imported ham than bologna in this crew.