The Other Manny And Boston’s Bullpen

Manny Delcarmen began his carer in the shadows of a position player. This year he is starting the season in Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Masterson, and Hideki Okajima’s shadows. But this year he is going to put those guys in his shadows.

Most people when you say Manny they think of Manny Ramirez but trust me they should be thinking Manny Delcarmen. Delcarmen could be a closer on some teams like the Mariners or the Cardinals. He has a fantastic twelve to six curveball along with a mid 90’s fastball and a decent change up. His control is okay but could use some work on it.
What the Red Sox are doing is somewhat of a crime. Besides Papelbon Boston has three guys that could be closers, Delcarmen, Okajima, and Takashi Saito. Along with Justin Masterson who would start on most teams.
The first series that Jason Bay was in a Red Sox uniform they gave out these signs for free.
Sorry I could not find a good picture of them but they are the signs that say Manny Who? When I was at these games I was waving the sign around and stuff. We had seats right by the Pesky Pole and in the game I pointed the sign to the bullpen. I then noticed Manny Delcarmen. I am not sure how he felt but if I was him I would have felt like garbage.
Delcarmen has a 0.00 ERA so far this year in 2.2 innings of work and he has only given up one hit. The only bad this is he has walked three already. Papelbon, Okajima, and Saito have worked 4.2 combined innings in which they have given up six earned runs.
I am not saying that Delcarmen should be the closer because at the end of the day Jonathan Papelbon is better. However Delcarmen should be Boston’s number one set up man snd not Okajima. Saito is fine but needs to learn how the Red Sox roll. The reason Ramon Ramirez or Javier Lopez are not is because Delcarmen is just better then them.
Now one problem in Boston’s bullpen and rotation is what will Jon Smoltz do once he comes back. He could join the bullpen or fill in for an injury or work in the rotation. If I am Terry Francona I would really consider having a six man rotation. 
Not many teams get the chance to have a six man rotation because they do not have enough pitching. If anything it would be a gift to have a six man rotation. Each starter gets an extra day of rest and they are less likely to get hurt if the go out there once every six days rather then once every five days.
If he goes to the bullpen I just do not see how he fits there. The long relief pitcher is Justin Masterson. The closer is Jonathan Papelbon. Setup man belongs to Saito, Okajima, and Delcarmen. Then Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez are just the regular relief pitchers with out roles. I guess you could make Somaltz the second long relief pitcher but I would not do that. I would have just one long relief pitcher.
if he fills in for someone it would most likely be due to injury. However he could fill in for a suspension (see Josh Beckett) but more on Beckett possibly tomorrow. Brad Penny has a little gut of an injury history but I do not see him getting hurt this year. 
In the playoffs however I would move Tim Wakefield to the bullpen and have Smaoltz start. Smoltz has been there before a ton of times and has amazed hitters. I know Wakefield has the second most experience but hitters are figuring out how to hit the knuckleball so I would move Wakefield to the bullpen.
John Smoltz
One last problem Boston has is that they have three setup men. I my opinion you only need two setup men. Saito, Okajima, and Delcarmen are all great choices. However Saito can only pitch one inning, Okajima does not have the stamina to pitch three innings, but Delcarmen can. So if Boston does make the move Delcarmen’s role will be reduced. However I do not think that will change. If it does change teams have ways to slowly cut their work down so no one notices except the team.
Boston Red Sox Hideki Okajima (L) of Japan talks with new teammate Takashi Saito during spring training workouts at the team's practice facility in Ft. Myers, Florida February 22, 2009. Saito was signed after playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
All these problems are not really problems if anything it is a good thing. Boston has an over talented bullpen but with that comes some flaws.


  1. juliasrants

    Bob – neither Delcarmen or Okie are players that we can depend upon now. And if Dice-K does go out on the DL, and with Beckett out on suspension, Masterson might find himself having to start depending upon how often Penny can start right now. I don’t think we can be looking to trade any of our pitchers right now. It is quickly becoming thin.


  2. scofid

    Bob, Good breakdown on the bullpen! Of course, you can never have enough arms. I like Saito but he’s 39 and more susceptible to injury than the others. Sorry to hear about Beckett’s suspension (seriously). Congratulations on your placement at #9 on the latest Leader’s List! Excellent job!


  3. mayz

    The six man rotation is risky business to me. It’s always great to have pitching depth but thinking about it long-term, you don’t want to get your pitchers used to having that extra time in between starts. Then in meaningful games they might not be ready to go as quick.


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