March 23, 2007


Tavarez in a happy place: He gets a shot in revamped rotation (Gordon Edes, March 23, 2007, Boston Globe)

The month of March is coming to a much happier conclusion for Julian Tavarez this spring.

Yesterday, Tavarez was officially anointed the Red Sox' No. 5 starter, the trickle-down effect of the team's declaration that Jonathan Papelbon will remain the team's closer. Last March 27, Tavarez was slapped with a 10-game suspension for a punch to the head of Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright that all but eliminated him from assuming a meaningful role with the club.

But Tavarez, who ended last season with an unexpectedly strong run as a starter, will get his chance to reprise that role, at least until lefty Jon Lester is fully recovered from his bout with cancer or Kyle Snyder mounts a challenge.

An effective, potentially dominant, young starting pitcher is worth so much more to a team than a closer that moving Papelbon back to the 'pen is a dubious call. However, Tavarez, Snyder & even Kason Gabbard would all be in most teams' rotations--heck, each would be the #1 in places like Washington and KC--and with Lester, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden and Daniel Bard coming, the Sox could still end up with 5 aces all under 28 years old next year. And there's something to be said for the peace of mind that SuperBon provides Red Sox Nation....

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2007 7:28 AM

If Kyle Snyder would be #1 in KC, why did KC cut Snyder and sign Gil Meche?

This was Papelbon's choice and the Red Sox can't resist his wishes when they make reasonable baseball sense.

Posted by: pj at March 23, 2007 9:06 AM

You should start a pool on when Joel Piniero gets his first start.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 23, 2007 9:58 AM

Because they're the Royals. Burgos and Sisco would have the two best arms on their current staff and they got nothing for them either.

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2007 12:17 PM

Ah, Julian Tavarez. I'm a Cardinals fan and always enjoyed him while he was here... I remember him busting his hand by punching in the bullpen (or something) in the NLCS.

As for Kyle Snyder, he looked decent at times, but I don't think anyone was too upset about the Royals releasing him. As lousy as their rotation is, there's no way he would be #1 in KC this upcoming season.

Posted by: Hunter at March 25, 2007 3:45 AM
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