Closer, Jonathan Papelbon.
To say that Paps has met the expectations of RSN head-on and met most/all of them is probably an understatement. Yes, he's already been hung with two losses, but his WHIP is still below 1, and he's struck out almost 13 per 9 IP. He's the real deal kids, though I'd like to see him lower his walks. A
Uber-setup man, Hideki Okajima.
I admit, and you all should too, that I kind of thought Okajima was being brought to the States in the unofficial capacity of Matsuzaka-buddy. He's been as good or better than Paps, with a .831 WHIP and 37 Ks in 43 1/3. Suggestion to Don Orsillo: No more "You've been Dice-Kd." Only announce the strikeouts from this guy. "You've been OK'd" sounds awesome in my head right now. A+
Super-Violent Delivery, Plus DL Time!, Brendan Donnelly.
He's provided great numbers as the "7th inning guy" and some memorable quotes. His numbers are a lot like his 2004 season in Anaheim, and he'll be just fine for us with those. Still worried about the delivery, as well as return time. B+
Hometown Hero!, Manny Delcarmen.
"Little" Manny has been good in his limited time with the Sox, and I'm ready to see more. We should probably be prepared for him to start allowing more hits (only 5 in 10 2/3), however. I, but coming along nicely.
Less Walks Please. Otherwise, Thanks For All The Groundballs!, Javier Lopez.
J-Lo has been most of what the FO hoped J.C. Romero (only appearance in this post) would be. He's actually been tougher on RHHs than LHHs, which kind of goes against all conventional wisdom and his own career history. Prediction: He'll get better against LHHs in the second half, but be a bit more exposed to RHHs who lift the ball well. B
The Long (Un) Forgotten, Kyle Snyder.
I've been a fan of Snydes since he came over, and I think we all remember that ridiculous relief appearance against the Indians last season. His problem is a too-common one for our pitchers, walks. The curve has been on display, but I think he's been hesitant to place his fastball anywhere near the zone, since it's nowhere near what it was while he was still a prospect. B
Not-the-Closer, Joel Pineiro.
Even after I breathed a sigh of relief at the news of Paps' return to the pen, I thought Pineiro could contribute to the group. He's been awful most of the season, with a 1.615 WHIP and balls made of something less than steel. He still gets props from me for defending Alex Cora, however. D-
He's BACK! And Not Ridiculously Awful Lately, Mike Timlin.
Look. Timlin. I'll admit, we in RSN might've sounded the death knell on your career a little early. Late in a close game, I still want you in line behind Donnelly, Okajima, Delcarmen, and Papelbon. However, you've given us a few good outings lately, and if you're willing to take 6th/7th inning duties, I think we can be friends again. C
In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass, PawSox.
We've got some options in the event of emergency. One might wonder why Travis Hughes wasn't given a callup already: 0.99 WHIP, 42 Ks in 46 2/3. I'd like to see Craig Breslow get a shot, with 50 Ks in 43 2/3 against 12 BB. Remember Brian Corey? He's also been pretty good for our AAA team, 41 Ks in 44 and a 1.20 WHIP. E-Mart has even been adjusting lately, limiting his hits enough to get to the same 1.20 WHIP Corey is sporting. Regardless of handedness, I'd go with Breslow, Hughes, E-Mart, and Corey in that order if we need (a) call-up(s). B+