No news yet on the plan, but this Tony Massarotti piece points out a great stat.

In 2004, when the Red Sox won the World Series, their bullpen finished with just 17 losses, fifth-fewest in baseball, fourth-fewest in the American League. (The latter is a better indicator because the absence of a designated hitter inevitably leads to more relief appearances in the NL as a result of hitting for the pitcher.) In 2007, Sox relievers had the third-fewest losses in baseball, second-fewest in the AL. The Sox of the last two years have dipped into the middle of the pack in that area - and they have not made the playoffs in either season.
Since "bullpen losses" often mean "blown saves," one can imagine the effect on the morale of the other pitchers.

Mazz again:
But now? Stability in the bullpen is a huge question, even if solely for the fact that everything is new. New closer. New setup man. New pitching coach and manager.
I suppose we could do this with any position ("If there's no stability in right, we lose some VORP ... "), but it's also a good reminder of what Papelbon gave us (usually), or what Mariano Rivera has given the Yankees since what seems like the dawn of time.

I'm not looking back on Pap; it seems like he had to go, but -- nah, I admit it, I'm looking back on Pap. That said, Andrew Bailey (pictured) and Mark Melancon are both capable of success, as Mazz put it, and we're probably never going back to the dark days of closer by committee.

Jim Corrigan 3/25/2012 12:57:00 AM Edit
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