Losing A Little Steam

The House That Dewey Built looks at Papelbon’s first/second half splits. The results are clear but far from dramatic, and are consistent with the way a lot of closers are. I’d be more concerned if it were not for his 25 career innings in the postseason, in which Papelbon has a 0.00 ERA, 7 saves and has struck out 22 batters while allowing just 16 baserunners. If he was just burning out at year end, he wouldn’t be doing that. The lesson instead is that, as the Yankees have done with Rivera most years, Papelbon’s workload should be held down in the regular season even at the cost of the occasional game to ensure he remains fresh enough to keep dominating in October.

One thought on “Losing A Little Steam”

  1. It is true that Papelbon’s ERA has gone up each of the last two years although no one can sustain a career ERA of 0.92 so having an ERA of 2.35 last year is hardly a crime. Also, if you remove the Yankees from the equation his ERA last year was 1.58. Much like the Sox ability to get to Rivera like no other team can, the Yankees see enough of Papelbon to get to him more than other teams do. Francona handles the bullpen exceptionally well and manages to the big picture better than any Sox manager, well, ever. Will he have the longevity and long term success of Rivera? Who knows. Rivera is almost a singular anomoly in baseball though. Papelbon is a valuable figure on that team and after this year Theo might have to go against his own instincts about relievers and hand over some cash.
    Paps was also 10.1 innings pitched, 0 runs, 3 hits, .48 WHIP and 13 Ks in 7 post-season appearances last season. I think he’s handling the workload fine right now.

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