1-2-2011: Okajima signs, bullpen and roster complete

With the signing of Hideki Okajima over the weekend, the Red Sox bullpen makeover is complete and we are looking at a full 40-man and a filled-out active roster.

Here’s what our projections see for this bullpen going forward:

Name IP K/9 BB/9 ERA
Papelbon 68.2 9.9 2.9 2.95
Doubront 38.2 8.5 3.8 3.57
Jenks 55.1 8.3 3.1 3.59
Bard 60.2 9.1 3.9 3.61
Miller 38.0 7.8 3.9 3.77
Okajima 57.0 7.9 3.5 3.85
Wheeler 57.1 7.9 3.0 4.09
Albers 34.0 6.6 4.4 4.50
Hill 23.1 8.0 5.4 5.21

Not bad, Mr. Epstein, not bad at all. The projections see Jonathan Papelbon returning to form this season. His ERA was high, but his peripherals were still solid last season, as shown by his 3.51 FIP and 3.72 xFIP last season. As long as he can avoid the DL, I think this is a distinct possibility.

You have to take Felix Dobront’s projection with a grain of salt (it’s based on his transition from starter to full-time reliever), but if he’s used mostly in a LOOGY fashion, he could very well be that good. The same goes for Andrew Miller, for whom I must say that I have absolutely no idea what kind of numbers he will put up this year.

Bobby Jenks was a great addition, as he provides high-quality innings in high-leverage situations for us. He and Daniel Bard should be very good setup men. Okajima should still be a decent bridge man at least, and if he can remain healthy, he could give us quite the four-headed dragon at the back of the pen.

The numbers see Dan Wheeler as a solid but unspectacular arm, and Matt Albers as slightly better than a replacement level reliever. Rich Hill will most likely be LOOGY depth, but we could see Curt Young work some magic with the wild lefty.

Altogether, this rates as a very strong, if not excellent bullpen. If this is what we get from our relievers this season, I’ll be more than satisfied.


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