FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Apparently it's not time to panic yet, at least according to Jonathan Papelbon. Asked this morning about a report on the blog of the Star Tribune (out of Minneapolis), Papelbon smiled and shot the report down.
Just for reference, here's what was written:
"This has nothing to do with the Twins, but a National League scout who’s recently seen Jonathan Papelbon pitch expressed concern that the Red Sox closer is battling a shoulder problem. Who knows if it’s true, but it’s worth tracking. And Papelbon may be the kind of pitcher who’s not afraid to pitch with soreness (see Huston Street)."
"No," Papelbon said. "[It's] fine."
As for his velocity, he said, "It's that time in the spring. The only way to get stronger is to work yourself. You're not going to get any stronger if you don't work yourself to fatigue."
He continued, "That's interesting. Maybe that scout should move on to something bigger and better that he knows a little bit more about."