What does this say about Papelbon?
Until this year he's had plenty of chances to save games. Then again, Papelbon had a bunch of chances to save games this year. His seven blown saves give him a career-worst 81 percent save rate. In 2010 Papelbon had eight blown saves in 45 chances for an 82 percent save rate.
It also says Papelbon has been able to avoid major injuries. Though, in nearly blowing a four-run lead in a non-save situation on Saturday night, Papelbon's stuff was "flaccid" in the words of CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. His fastball had no heat and his breaking pitches were soft. Had it not been for a tremendous diving stop and remarkable throw from Jimmy Rollins, Papelbon losses the game.
But is Papelbon really worth it? Signed through 2015 with a vesting option for 2016, Papelbon will be difficult to unload. He's also owed $26 million and maybe as much as $39 million to do a job that doesn't require a preminum salary.
Look at it this way ... in 2009 the Phillies had the worst statistical closer in the history of the game when Brad Lidge saved 31 games, had 11 blown saves and a 7.21 ERA. At times it was painful to watch Lidge work those ninth innings.
But guess what?
The Phillies still went to the World Series and with a closer who was paid a little less than Papelbon.
In the meantime, it appears as if the Phillies are stuck with Papelbon. It's too bad, too, because they could have done as well for less and then been able to spend elsewhere.