So after much hand-wringing by douche bags like Dan Shaughnessy, the Sox today moved Papelbon back into the bullpen to close. This, interestingly, resulted in . . . you guessed it, more douche bag hand-wringing by increasingly less relevant print journalists (and idiot casual fans).
Some points to consider:
-Papelbon had a historic season last year - not just good, historic. His ratios were off the charts, too (and way above his minor league equivalences), so it was probably marginally less fluky than you would guess. Bottom line: he got much better in the 'pen.
-Some guys smarter than me (and, y'know, actually AT spring training) noted that Paps was losing his mechanics late into his ST starts . . . as in, just after the first inning. This is troubling for a guy with former laxity in his shoulder, obviously.
-The precautions are intelligent, and shouldn't harm the team as much as they should help Paps. Smart.
-The pen shapes up well, and the lack of 5th starter can be covered by anyone in the Hansack/Snyder/Gabbard mold until a solution presents itself (likely Lester or, gasp, The Roger).
This is a good thing - is it a panic move after a terrible spring by all available options? Yeah, probably - does that mean it's wrong? Obviously not.