Proven Smoke in the 9th

15 Nov

As you know by now Ruben Amaro Jr. has made another splash in the free agent market inking closer Jonathan Papelbon to a 4-year, $50 million dollar contract.  I’m pretty thrilled to have a closer that throws gas like Pap, the length of the deal scares me a bit.

I’m pretty mixed when it comes to taking Pap over Ryan Madson.  Sure, Papelbon has been closing for years in Boston and has a pretty solid track record, but he relies pretty heavily on his fastball, and I worry that in a few years when his velocity dips we’re going to be upset that we have a guy that throws mostly fastballs.  Ryan Madson had a repertoire of pitches to work with, but that does not mean that he would have any more success in the end.  It’s pretty well documented that guys who throw hard like Pap do, tend to have a tougher time lasting into September and October as they age.

So we’ll see, and time will tell…

Pap does have the edge when comparing the two, having been Boston’s everyday closer.  219 saves (37 per year average) over the past six seasons with a 2.33 career ERA.   2011 probably was  the best year of Papelbon’s career. He was 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA in 63 games, converting 31 save opportunities in 34 chances.  However he blew a pretty big save at the end of the season for the Red Sox that knocked the Sox from playoff contention.  (To be fair the whole team played like garbage down the stretch)

Madson converted 32 saves for the Phillies in 2011, but only started to fill in as the closer in May after Jose Contreras went down with an injury. He does appear to be on the upswing.

With the Aces we have on the mound, I’m just happy the Phillies have a sound closer locked up for some time.

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One Response to “Proven Smoke in the 9th”

  1. toosoxy November 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    you’re going to enjoy how fun is to watch (when he’s on your team). boston will miss the papel-jig!

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