i live in the boston area so i watch every sox game, but other than that Jonathon Papelbon has to have to best mental make-up in the league. he just has this great poise and determination on the mound. its kind of intimidating to watch from the couch i cant imagine wat the hitters think. but he goes out there and gets the job done. even as a rookie with his 0.25 ERA and 23 out of 24 save oppurtunitys. I cant wait till he is in the rotation next year, if that happens pending on craig hanson and etc… but thats a whole other complicating and unpredictable story. just thought id mention papelbon as a great example for mental aspects of picthing.
I saw and got to hear him speak at a clinic last Dec. at the University of N. Florida. He intimidated me just watching him deal with the guys at the clinic (14-18 yr olds). He is also an extremely intelligent kid, sharp…the kind of sharp you see in Special Ops/Seal guys, he just knows whats going on everywhere in the room. He spoke about pre and post pitch planning and you would have thought he had been coaching for years. If he stays healthy he’s sure got a heck of a career ahead of him.
In my opinion, and what was proven in past performances, he should stick to the closer role. You don’t want Papelbon in your rotation. He just doesn’t have the stuff to get him through the lineup multiple times. All his pitches would be a bit slower, and not a single guy would be confused by what he brings. He was hit HARD in spring training when he was pitching as a starter, and that’s because he just simply doesn’t have the stuff to be a starter.
Look at Mariano Rivera for example. He came up as a starter, and got rocked around, and went into the closers role and bam. LIGHTS OUT. And thats because a closer can get away with just 2 really good pitches, rather than needing multiple pitches to change eye levels, and timing. But over Rivera’s career as a closer, you know whats coming and still can’t hit it.
I agree with you that i think he should be a closer… But I think hes as great stuff. I think he should stay as a closer because of hes intensity and wanting to be there when the game is on the line…