CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jonathan Papelbon has been both a reliever and a starter in pro ball and has no doubt that former teammate Daniel Bard, who is attempting to move from the bullpen to the starting rotation, can make the transition.
"I had a long talk with Daniel this offseason about that,'' Papelbon revealed after reporting to camp with the Philadelpha Phillies. "I'm excited to see what he can do. I think Daniel has a phenomenal career ahead of him and in my opinion, there's no reason why he can't start.
"Daniel can do whatever he wants to do. He's that good. He's matured into a phenomenal pitcher and he's only going to get better. The sky's the limit for him. It truly, really is. He can really go out there and do whatever he sets his mind to.''
Papelbon very nearly went to the rotation in 2007 because of some long-term concerns about his shoulder holding up under all the pressure of being a closer.
Ultimately, with a few weeks left in spring training, Papelbon went to then-manager Terry Francona and asked to go back to the bullpen.
"When that happened to me,'' he recounted, "I had to go with my heart. I had to go with what I felt like I was going to be successful with for 162 games. For me, when I asked myself that question, that was closing.
"I learned how to pitch being a closer in college. That's what drives me, what gets me up every morning and makes me want to go to work. I couldn't ignore that.''
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Brandon Carlo enjoyed about as good a game as one could possibly hope for in his preseason debut earlier this week.
The 19-year-old was smooth and poised with the puck on his stick, and picked up an assist when Danton Heinen redirected his point blast to the back of the net. He was also a little dirty, mean and nasty in his own end throwing bodies around in front of the net, and at one point taking a penalty call when he was a little overzealous throwing an opponent down in the crease.
So the 6-foot-5 prospect gave a pretty good glimpse into what he can offer at his best, but the youngster also knows it will keep getting more and more difficult as the games get closer to the end of the preseason.
“In that first game I felt like I was doing a lot of really good things. I was moving the puck well, playing well and doing all of the things that I wanted to do. So I’m really excited to build on that opportunity. I feel like I started myself off well, but it’s about building throughout the camp to reach your main goal at the end,” said Carlo, who may be in line for top pair duties again on Friday night after skating in that role in his first game. “Throughout camp I got three games last year, and I noticed that with each game the action got harder and faster. So I’m ready for that. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of fun out there. I’m ready for the speed, and I’m ready for the physicality. I’m ready for everything.”
Carlo will again team with veteran puck-mover John-Michael Liles on Friday night in a road exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings, and both he and the Bruins will be looking for him to build on that first outing’s promise. If the youngster can keep it up then the Bruins will have a really difficult choice on their hands with seven D-men already signed to NHL contracts ahead of the young prospect types, so Carlo would have to displace somebody.
But that’s another problem for another day, and will require young Carlo to keep impressing on people , and being extremely hard to play against, when the Bruins take the ice against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.
Tonight at 7:00pm on CSN and CSNNE.com, the Boston Celtics play their annual Green vs White scrimmage at TD Garden.
Our broadcast team of Mike Gorman, Tommy Heinsohn, Abby Chin, Brian Scalabrine, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you all the action from the scrimmage as we get our first look at the 2016 Boston Celtics.
Also, Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge are scheduled to join us during the broadcast.