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In Walks Foulke

Cue the dramatic music.

The first to appear at spring training is none other than our questionable-closer Keith Foulke.

I think this is a really good sign. Foulke, as we all know, struggled last year on and off the mound. He put up his worst season ever as a pro after arguably his best season. But his early arrival really sends the message that he wants to get back to that 2004 form.

He threw 13 minutes yesterday, so I'm going to quickly assume his knee is doing well. He'll be ready for Opening Day, but the real question is his performance: 2004 or 2005?

Our bullpen hero Mike Timlin was named to the United States team to play in the World Baseball Classic. Congratulations, Timlin. This guy deserves it.

Word is that David Wells will report to spring training despite his trade request not being honored yet.

"David has been and will always be the ultimate pro, and he intends to do everything necessary to be the best he can from Opening Day on," agent Gregg Clifton said. "Theo (Epstein, the Red Sox general manager) has assured him he's going to continue to attempt to satisfy his desire to be on a West Coast team and that probably is going to happen in the next month or so. David has a great relationship with Theo and a great belief and trust in him."

I speak for the rest of Red Sox Nation when I say: put Jonathan Papelbon in the starting rotation.

"I don't know what's going to happen," said Francona when asked if Papelbon could open the year in the bullpen. "What he's going to do for sure is pitch with a lot of responsibility. Whether that's in the 'pen or as a starter, I just don't know."

Please, Mr. Francona. Bronson Arroyo to the pen, Papelbon to the rotation. Do the right thing.

He has been working.

He is Over The Monster's favorite prospect, Dustin Pedroia. According to the Providence Journal article, Pedroia is primed and ready to compete for a starting job in Boston.

"I've killed myself this offseason," said Pedroia. "There have been no setbacks and I've made myself as strong as possible, and I'm ready for a long year. I'm going to try to win a job in Boston."

Does that everyone else excited like it does to me? He's got an invite to spring training, he's been working really hard this off-season, and Alex Gonzalez does not have a guaranteed contract. This is a sweet little formula from my perspective.