Phillies Profile – Jonathan Papelbon

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Over the next 28 days Philly Pressbox ( (@phillypressbox) will be doing a review and analysis of each Phillies player, Manager Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff leading up to Opening Day 2012.  On Day 26 we preview, Jonathan Papelbon. We were saving Papelbon for our last profile as “The Closer”. Unfortunately, injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Michael Martinez, Michael Stutes and Jose Contreras have created some roster chaos that’s going down to the last day. Papelbon becomes our 24th player profile instead of 25th.

Jonathan Papelbon – The Phillies went “all in” on signing the 31 year old former Boston Red Sox closer to a 4 year – $50 million contract with a vesting year that will carry through the 2016 season. Papelbon is scheduled to make $11,000,058 in 2012. Yes, that’s 058 to match his jersey number.

Papelbon is a former 4th round draft choice of the Red Sox out of Mississippi State University in the 2003 amateur draft. In 2005, he had his major league debut. In 2006, he became the closer for the Red Sox. In the 6 seasons since taking over the role he has had some amazing seasons. In 2006, he finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 4-2 record with a 0.92 ERA and 35 saves. He walked 13 while striking out 75. He made his first of four all star teams.

He followed up his 2006 season with just as good of a season in 2007. He finished the season with a 1-3, 1.85 ERA and 37 saves. Again his walks to strikeouts were amazing. He walked 15 and struck out 84. His playoff numbers were unbelievable. In the combined three series, he pitched 10.2 innings, gave up 5 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts, 1 win, 4 saves and ERA of 0.00 and a World Championship.

For an encore, in 2008, Papelbon increased his saves to his career high of 41 while posting a 5-4 record with a 2.34 ERA. 2008 saw another 35 saves as he lowered his ERA back down to 1.85. He continued his fine work in 2010 and 2011 recording 37 and 31 more saves for the Sox.

All told his career numbers after 6 ½ seasons in Boston are 23 wins, 19 loses, 2.33 ERA with 219 Saves. Since becoming a regular his career low in appearances is 59 and in saves 31. He has been a workhorse!

Personal Analysis:

The Phillies thought enough of Papelbon to not only sign him to a long term, big money contract but also to not resign Ryan Madson, their closer, that had done a nice job for Phils. It was pay Madson or pay Papelbon and the Phils chose Papelbon. His numbers slipped slightly last season, by his standards, he only had 31 saves and a 2.94 ERA while getting caught in the meltdown that was the Boston Red Sox locker room. A fresh start will be great for Papelbon and great for the Phillies. This guy will be huge! We’re looking for his normal 60-65 games pitched and 40+ saves. He has put up fantastic numbers in Boston but has never pitched behind a rotation like the Phillies have. He’ll have many more chances to save games for The Fightins as he ever had in the past with the Red Sox. Just get the lead to the 9th inning and Papelbon will take care of business!

Tomorrow we will preview The NL East or the last roster spot.

The series: Day 1, Charlie Manuel. Day 2, The Coaching Staff. Day 3, Roy Halladay. Day 4, Cliff Lee. Day 5, Cole Hamels. Day 6, Vance Worley. Day 7, Joe Blanton. Day 8, Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz. Day 9, Ryan Howard. Day 10, Chase Utley. Day 11, Jimmy Rollins. Day 12, Placido Polanco. Day 13, John Mayberry, Jr. Day 14, Shane Victorino. Day 15, Hunter Pence. Day 16, Brian Schneider. Day 17, Jim Thome. Day 18, Kyle Kendrick. Day 19, Antonio Bastardo. Day 20, Ty Wigginton. Day 21, Chad Qualls. Day 22, Freddy Galvis. Day 23, David Herndon. Day 24, Juan Pierre. Day 25, Laynce Nix.

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