This is quote of the day territory, but it’s a bit early and lots of players will be talking to the media today, so we’ll hold off on giving it any awards.
Jonathan Papelbon talked yesterday about how he’s approaching 2011. The key for him is focus. Well, not exactly, because he kept saying that “focus” is the wrong word. But it is something about his mental approach:
He said it. He admitted the swagger was missing. He was asked about that. “It’s here, yeah,” he said. “It’s here, but I’m talking about building it here in Fort Myers and through spring training, building it up and taking into the season with a swagger that is bullet-proof.”
“Does that make sense?” he asked.
Well, considering that no one has ever satisfactorily explained the concept of “swagger” to me that wasn’t necessarily ex-post-facto — no one who loses or fails ever has “swagger” — no, it does not make much sense.
All I know for sure is that if all of this means that Papelbon is going to be more demonstrative and fist-pumpy on the mound this year than he usually is, God help us all.
Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.
Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.
Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.
The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.
Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.