FanPost

Former top prospect relievers converting back to starters


I wanted to hear your thoughts on the three high-upside arms that will making the switch back to a starter, hoping their story will be more C.J. Wilson, less Joba Chamberlain.

Daniel Bard - Was great as a starter in college, was a total disaster in his first year as a starter in the minors and really only pulled it together as a reliever, and hasn't started since. Now the Sox want to give it a chance... they don't trust him to close but they feel like they would get more value out of him as a good starter than a great set-up man (and they're probably right). Of course, while he was dominant as a reliever, he hasn't started in several years so it's very risky.

Chris Sale - Has always been seen as a pitcher who could be great as a starter or a closer, but looks like the Sox finally decided they want to make him a closer after 2 years in relief. Like Bard, his stuff is great, but unlike Bard, has a small and wiry frame, making some wonder if he'll have the durability and stamina to handle a full year of starts. Still, he has a track record of minor league success as a starter and could still be valuable on an innings limit.

Neftali Feliz - The former closer has had fans imploring management to make him a starter for over 2 years, and they're finally getting their wish. Feliz's profile is like Sale's, except with more upside and higher likelihood of durability. Still, Feliz's decline in performance in 2011 was discouraging, as he needs to have a strong K/BB rate as a reliever to have a chance to succeed as a starter. How they'll make room for him is another question entirely.

What are your projections and/or predictions for them in the 2012 season and beyond?

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