Bullpen Worries

You can never build a conclusion off of one game, especially when you are facing Justin Verlander, but the Red Sox bullpen is in disarray.

First off, can we end the Daniel Bard experiment before it starts? Let’s lock him in the closer role and let all the other relievers do what they were going to do to start the year. The injury to Andrew Bailey is bad, but the fact is, he can’t stay healthy. This might be a freak injury sure, but look at his last 2 seasons, this wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Bobby Valentine has to make this change. What is interesting is what the Red Sox think of Daniel Bard as a closer or perhaps even more interestingly, what Daniel Bard thinks of himself as a closer? He was set to inherit the closer role, but instead pushed for a chance at starting. Why? Because starters make more money? Because he doesn’t want the pressure of closing in Boston? Either way, it is concerning. Or maybe the Red Sox just really were set on putting him in the rotation, come heck or high water.

Secondly, the Red Sox pen allowed 4 hits and a walk in 1.1 IP covering 4 pitchers, one of whom pitched .2 IP perfect baseball (Franklin Morales) which makes the performance of the other 3 even more painful. And to add a controversal twist, just what the Red Sox need, Mark Melancon said he thought the hook was a bit quick. Quoting a WEEI article when asked if he thought it was a quick hook, Melancon said, “Yeah, it did. It felt a little quick. But that’s not my job. My job is to get outs and I didn’t do that. I’m not going to think any more about that, I’m just goign to continue to try to get outs and get after it.”

In fairness to Melancon, most relievers would probably feel the same way and he acknowledged that he stank, but perhaps it would have been wise to can his thoughts for opening day. Like manager like player I guess.

I’m ok giving this arrangement a week or so, but remember, even April games count in the standings and I want this team to get off to a good start in 2012, remember 2011, sniffles?