28 March 2011
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Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP John Lackey, SP Josh Beckett, SP
Clay Buchholz, SP Jon Lester, SP Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
David Ortiz, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Carl Crawford, LF
J.D. Drew, RF Kevin Youkilis, 3B Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Jonathan Paplebon, CL
We only have four more days until the 2011 season begins, so I'll keep this last predictions post brief. We all know Paps had a rough year last season, and while I don't think he'll post the elite numbers we saw back in 2006 or 2007, I do think he can bounce back and be one of the best closers in baseball again.
Bottom Line: We don't know if it was mechanics, a lack of confidence, stubbornness or some other factor that caused Paps to lose his mojo in 2011. Due to the nature of thier job, we do know that relief pitcher stats are as fluky as they come... so the question is: Is Papelbon's success the real fluke?
I say no. Expect Paps to bounce back in 2011 with solid numbers...
Rob's Prediction: 65 G, 35 SV, 75 K, 2.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 2.05 BAA
... and sign a a huge deal with the Yankees in 2012.
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