12 April 2005

Jon Papelbon Update- 4.12.05

Jon Papelbon, now of the Portland Sea Dogs, was actually scheduled to pitch today, Tuesday, but the game was pushed back a day due to inclement weather. I had hoped to have a quick update on this most recent game in this post, but it'll have to wait until next week. Until then, check out his Portland player page (linked in his name above). Here is Jon's sole performance thus far in 2005:

1-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7 K, .217 OBA, 10.5 K/9, 0 BB

WP- Jon Papelbon (1-0)
LP- David Simon (0-1)
SV- Cla Meredith (1)
HR- J Benavidez (NOR), T Von Schell (NOR)

As is obvious, Papelbon's lone runs came on the HR, both solo shots. All in all though, especially considering the K's and BB's, a terrific first outing in AA for Papelbon.

Here's a nice article about the game from Maine.com- also note that Portland is off to a hot 5-0 start, and both Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia in particular have begun the year strong. Also worth reading is the Morning Sentinel take on the Sea Dogs opener, (including the tidbit that Papelbon threw 11 pitches in the first inning- 10 for strikes) and another Maine.com article on Portland's wealth of pitching prospects

Here's a quick article as well from RSN.net's wonderful David Laurila, detailing Papelbon's adoption of the splitter into his repertoire.

Jon Papelbon spent some time with Curt Schilling this spring, and that looks to be bad news for Eastern League hitters. Already armed with an outstanding fastball and slider, Papelbon came into the season the top-rated pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization. Now, thanks to Schilling, he has added a splitter to his repertoire.

Papelbon recently unveiled his new pitch against Norwich, and the results were impressive. Starting the season opener for the Red Sox Double-A affiliate, Papelbon went six strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking none and striking out seven in earning the win. His stuff was overpowering, including his splitter.

“I learned it from Curt in spring training,” Papelbon said, “and it’s a more natural feel for me than the change. I threw about ten or twelve of them against Norwich, and had success with it. I’ve ditched the change-up for now, and plan to go with the split instead.”

So Papelbon has not only started working on a more dominant strikeout pitch, it looks like it comes at the expense of his changeup. Worth noting, for both in-game success results, and for arm strength/ health. The splitter can do harm to the elbow and shoulder. Nothing too big to worry about though- Papelbon is old enough that it shouldn't be a concern of a new pitch on top of vastly increasing workload.

Finally, for reference sake, every mLer update will include a list of links to their former update pages here, in reverse chronological order. So here's starting the trend:

Tues., 3/29/05

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