Ok, so this may be a touchy subject, but...
I think Papelbon should already NOT be our closer. In yesterday's game, his velocity was down and his location was off. I believe that this was a direct result of him pitching the night before and then having to come back and pitch the next afternoon. Now, if he had 24-hours (a night game to night game), he might be better, but he looked pretty bad yesterday.
Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Papelbon fan. However, I'd like to see him in more 2-innings pitched situations as a setup man.
Wells is coming back this week, and who knows? He might be great. I certainly think that Wells has a large ego, and he will be focused based on how well the rest of the starting staff has pitched. I expect nothing short of typical Wells.
With that said, I also expect Wells to DL it at some point this year, and I'd prefer Papelbon to DiNardo or Alvarez or Lester in the rotation. Flat out, he's the best choice.
Secondly, it would be easier to replace Papelbon as a setup man than a starter. Delcarmen, Hansen or other (even Lester) could fill that effectively. And let's not forget that Tavarez (when not beating people up) is another great setup man. DiNardo might have a good spot start, but do you want him pitching every fifth day?
Thirdly, Foulke is back. And I will stand by this. He had a great spring. He had a rough first outing, but it wasn't an explosion. Yes, there were some good plays behind him, no doubt...But only one run. His second outing was 10 pitches or so. And he was electric yesterday. His fastball had pop on it...His changeup looked unhittable. He's ready, and he's proven. I was expecting Foulke to come out and finish the game yesterday after that 8th inning. (I think it was a bad idea to bring Papelbon out to start the ninth...it got even worse after the leadoff double and hit batsman). Where do we go after him? Seanez? Riske? Yikes! Let Foulke start that inning. He was unhittable...
I have no problem with Tavarez, Papelbon, and Timlin being the setup guys. That's 6-innings from a starter...And with this rotation (Schill, Wake, Beckett, Clement, Wells) more times than not, that is nothing. Moving Pap out of the closer role allows you to stretch him out a little for if (and when) he has to move into a starting role. Again, I'd rather have him on the hill than the alternatives. And then you can (as we all really, really want) DFA Riske and bring up Delcarmen.