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Red Sox Closer

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Update [2007-3-9 13:35:41 by Eric Hz]: From the Boston Herald:

The unsettled state of the Red Sox’ bullpen is now even more so, with the team announcing this morning that reliever Mike Timlin, who is suffering from back pain, will be shut down for a week.
So much for Timlin closing?

Panic is creeping into the Red Sox Nation.  The Providence Journal's Sean McAdams is reporting that Mike Timlin is likely to be the closer following Joel Piniero's three and a third innings' worth of troubles this Spring.  

there are subtle indications that the Sox may be rethinking their position and considering Mike Timlin as the odds-on favorite to open the season as the Red Sox' ninth-inning man.

$4MM down the drain already?  I find that hard to believe, but Mr. McAdams is a well-respected Red Sox reporter.  His industry sources aside, what causes me to say the RSN is panicking is this paragrapgh:

Timlin...has yet to appear in a game, his spring slowed by a minor oblique strain that sidelined him for the last 10 days or so.

I know fantasy players have been relentlessly following the Red Sox closer's situation all winter, but can it be any more relentless than whispering about Piniero losing his closer role to a pitcher who hasn't thrown a pitch yet?  Mr. McAdams' article goes on to detail the struggles Mike Timlin has had staying healthy and pitching with runners on-base.  

Just as panics are good buying opportunities in the stock market, this may be a good buying opportunity to get Piniero.

And for keeper league participants with minor league drafts, there is this enticing closing paragraph:

By 2008, the Sox believe that either Craig Hansen or Bryce Cox -- a third-round pick out of Rice last summer -- will be able to assume the job long-term. If neither develops as hoped, the Sox could explore free-agent or trade options to fill the slot.