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SoxProspects News

July 30, 2005 at 10:36 PM

New to Boston: The Jonathan Papelbon Edition

Red Sox manager Terry Francona confirmed after Saturday night's win over the Twins that Jonathan Papelbon, soxprospects.com's top-ranked prospect, will make his Major League debut on Sunday. With Wade Miller missing a start, Bronson Arroyo and David Wells each had their starts moved up one game, leaving the Sunday start open due to Matt Clement's recent injury

Papelbon, 24, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, was drafted by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2003 draft, out of Mississippi State University. While at Mississippi State, Papelbon served as the team's closer, though the Red Sox converted him into a starter. After keeping his innings low in his pro debut in Lowell, the Red Sox turned Papelbon loose in 2004, where he went 12-7 with a 2.64 ERA, striking out 153 batters in 130 innings with Sarasota of the Florida State League.

Papelbon began 2005 with AA Portland, and started 14 games there before proving he was too advanced for the competition. Papelbon was 5-2 with a 2.48 ERA, allowing just 59 hits and 23 walks in 87 innings. Papelbon also struck out 83 batters in his half-season in Portland. Since being promoted to AAA Pawtucket, he has pitched 22.2 innings, going 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA, and a 21/2 K/BB ratio.

To make room for Papelbon, the Sox optioned Lenny Dinardo back to Pawtucket. There was no word as to how long Papelbon will stay up, with Matt Clement's status up in the air and David Wells due to eventually miss a start due to his suspension. Even if this stint with the Red Sox is brief, it surely will not be the last we see of Mr. Papelbon.