Red Sox manager Terry Francona spoke about a meeting that he, pitching coach John Farrell, and Theo Epstein had with the bullpen yesterday. Francona called them in to tell them of the decision to move Jonathan Papelbon back to closer. Joel Pineiro got up and said, “We’re deeper now.” Francona said Mike Timlin also spoke. Francona didn’t outline the order in which the setup men would enter the game, but he did say that he expected Pineiro to give the team a lot of innings out of the bullpen.
While Papelbon spoke openly this morning about his role as a ninth-inning closer and appearing only in save situations, Francona was trying not to give away the store and stayed mum on what Papelbon’s actual schedule will be.
The Red Sox sent outfielder David Murphy and DH Jeff Bailey back to the Triple-A facility.
Murphy opened eyes with his restructured frame and remains on the radar of a few teams looking for an outfielder. But in the absence of defense among the backup outfielders (Wily Mo Pena and Erik Hinske), Murphy remains valuable for future call-up. Bailey has shown power, but there’s no need for a righthanded DH. Unfortunately, Bailey’s catching career is over due to his throwing disorder. Bailey has never revisited catching but said recently it has crossed his mind. With his power, Bailey would have been able to help a team as a backup catcher and bat off the bench.
Julian Tavarez, now the fifth starter, pitched four innings yesterday and will throw again next Friday. He’ll also throw a simulated game on the off-day in Kansas City after that.
Coco Crisp, who has been nursing a sore shoulder, will play in St. Petersburg tomorrow.
Francona said that Curt Schilling apologized to him for breaking the news on Papelbon’s conversion to closer in his blog.