Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Papelbon ’
Jonathan Papelbon made a few comments about a lack of leadership this week and everybody outside the Phillies clubhouse wanted details.
What the heck is happening in Clearwater?
Truth be told, Papelbon’s comments barely made a ripple in camp because he essentially said what everybody already knew: they lost a lot of their leadership because of injuries. You lose Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay and that is going to hurt. You know what else hurt? All of the other injuries. That is why Jimmy Rollins said he agreed with Papelbon’s assessment. It is also why he said it’s nothing to take offense to.
But to give you a peek at reality, it was interesting (and a little surreal) to watch ESPN’s SportsCenter cover the story this morning. (Note: This isn’t about ESPN, just about perceptions of what’s happening from the outside.) Papelbon’s image flashed on screen and Phillies players quieted down to watch and listen. They heard Papelbon discuss his comments on camera, and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel followed with his own thoughts on camera. It all seemed very serious, like there is a real controversy brewing here. Then ESPN showed a quote from Rollins, which was read by SportsCenter host Stan Verrett. The quote ended with, “The glue is back together. You can have a lead singer, but without a man playing the guitar and drums, it’s a different band.”
When Rollins made that comment to reporters yesterday it sounded perfectly fine, but with a certain amount of gravitas behind it, it sounded quite silly. And that is why every player in the clubhouse erupted in laughter when Verrett finished reading it. Rollins smiled and took a quick bow.
Controversy? Nope, not really. But it’s something fun to talk about, I suppose.
He made an interesting comment the other day to The Morning Call, when he said the Phillies lacked leadership in the clubhouse last season. He discussed that lack of leadership a little further this morning. Here is what he said:
Q: You said this team didn’t show any leadership last season. That’s accurate?
A: I don’t say anything that’s not accurate.
Q: What does that mean?
A: I hope you guys aren’t saying it’s one particular person in general because I put myself in that category. I put myself in that category that I don’t feel like I took on certain leadership as much as I could have with the guys in the bullpen. And I intend to make that change this year. I hope that other guys on this team feel the same way as I do. Granted, we did have a lot of injuries and stuff like that. And that does affect how leadership plays a part with teams. Leadership takes the form of many different things and many different players can lead in different ways. I just don’t think there was many situations last year where guys were, either like myself on the team for the first year, guys weren’t able to be there every day because of injuries, all different sorts of things came into play. Hopefully, this year that’ll change. And I think it will.
Q: Was it a bad clubhouse last year?
A: No, no, no, no. No, not at all. It was just a clubhouse that didn’t have an identity. And a clubhouse that didn’t have leadership, I felt like. And that’s not to put the blame on any one person or any one coach. That’s just the way it was. It’s just the way things unfolded. I’ve been on plenty of teams that way. I said this, too. I was really, really happy the way the season ended and some of the leadership that started to emerge and some of the team’s identity that started to emerge. I said I believe if we can take that same team identity we had at the end of the season and carry that into the spring and carry that into the season, along with some of the leadership we had at the end of the month, guys taking charge, if we can carry that into the season – even though there was an offseason in between – just because there was an offseason it doesn’t mean that team’s identity and leadership can’t carry into the next year. Because it can. And that’s really all I meant by that.
Sources told MLB.com today the Phillies and right-hander Chad Durbin have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, pending a physical. The deal includes a club option for 2014.
“It gives us some depth,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He was a guy who was out there at a very good price and still available late in the (offseason). He loved Philadelphia and liked being in Philly and we’re hoping to get something done in the next 24 hours or so. … Veteran guy and a quality guy and he can give us something that the young guys may not be able to give us and that’s experience.”
Durbin, 35, pitched for the Phillies from 2008-10, when he helped solidify the middle innings.
He went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 76 appearances last season with the Atlanta Braves. He had a 2.33 ERA from April 18 through the end of the regular season, and carried a 0.83 ERA in 28 appearances against the National League East.
Durbin is expected to join a bullpen that includes closer Jonathan Papelbon, setup man Mike Adams and left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Durbin’s arrival means there likely will be three jobs available in the bullpen, which should make for an interesting competition in Spring Training.
The Phillies obviously hope Durbin helps them on the mound, but they also might welcome his positive presence and potential influence on the team’s younger relief pitchers. Durbin was a popular player in the Phillies clubhouse during his three seasons, and known as a good guy that fit in seamlessly with other Phillies relievers like Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Scott Eyre.
Durbin went 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA in his three seasons with the Phillies, when they won a World Series championship, two National League pennants and three division titles.
He certainly seemed amped before, during and afterward.
Papelbon struck out three in 1 1/3 innings in a 4-3 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park. He threw 15 pitches (13 strikes). He also threw three sliders and one splitter to keep Brewers hitters guessing. A first-pitch slider for a strike to Brewers first baseman Corey Hart started the ninth and set up the rest of the inning because the Brewers now had to worry about the slider and not just the fastball.
Papelbon has been throwing his slider a bit more recently for just that reason.
Asked why the Phillies chose to have Papelbon pitch a four-out save Saturday – the Phillies also had a four-out save situation Thursday but the Phillies chose Josh Lindblom instead – Manuel said it made sense because Papelbon had not pitched since Tuesday in Miami.
“He had rest,” he said. “I liked where we were at in the game. I liked the matchup. Like I said the other night, Papelbon when we bring him in we can’t be getting him four-out situations and a big amount of pitches because that kills him for two or three days. How many pitches did he throw? 15? OK, yeah. He’s fine for tomorrow.
“He was good. His stuff was good.”
When asked yesterday about the possibility Cole Hamels is traded before the end of the month, Jonathan Papelbon told reporters, “I don’t necessarily know if our clubhouse would take that too well.”
That echoes a similar comment Jimmy Rollins made in a telephone interview Sunday evening.
“If guys are going to get traded, it has nothing to do with contracts,” Rollins said. “That means that was their plan from the beginning. You just don’t trade a guy right now, especially a guy like Cole Hamels, for example, just because the team is losing. You don’t do that. If you’re going to let them go to free agency and hope to sign them after the season, then that’s what you’re going to do. You’re not going to all of a sudden start jumping to trade guys. That doesn’t make any sense.
“I know that’s what a lot of times people want to see happen: ‘Well, we need to start rebuilding the team.’ No, you don’t. You don’t hit the panic button. You let it play out. And with some guys, you have to take a chance.”
I’m guessing almost everybody in the clubhouse would feel the same way. It just adds another challenge to the front office: selling the trade to the team as a good thing, if they make it.
That’s as far as he got.
Jonathan Papelbon hopped up from his seat on the bench in the bullpen and held the fan at the fence until security arrived.
“I just reacted,” he said. “I didn’t want him coming into the bullpen, doing something stupid or crazy. I was just trying to help out security. I didn’t see security.”
So Papelbon just grabbed the fan and held him until security arrived?
“I put him in a sleeper hold,” he said. “That’s about it.”
Did he say anything?
“He just went, ‘Aggggh,’” he said, mimicking a choking sound.
Major League Baseball announced its All-Star Game rosters this afternoon and Carlos Ruiz made the National League team as a reserve.
It would have been a shock had Ruiz not made the roster. He entered Sunday leading baseball in batting average (.358). He also ranked third in on-base percentage (.423), eighth in slugging percentage (.585) and fourth in OPS (1.008).
It is a special moment for Ruiz, who is one of the most popular players in the Phillies clubhouse, because he made the All-Star team for the first time.
Cole Hamels and closer Jonathan Papelbon also made the team.
Hamels is 10-4 with a 3.08 ERA. He is tied for fourth in the Majors in wins. It is his third All-Star appearance. He also made the team in 2007 and 2011. Papelbon is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 18 saves in 19 opportunities. He is tied for eighth in the Majors in saves. It is Papelbon’s fifth All-Star Game, and first with the Phillies. He made the American League All-Star team with the Boston Red Sox from 2006-09.
But Ruiz is the player Phillies fans wanted to see in Kansas City on July 10. He has been one of the very few bright spots for the Phillies this season, giving them a reason to cheer as the Phillies sit in last place in the National League East.
They reminded me quite a bit of a blow up Billy Wagner had at Dana DeMuth a few years back.
Papelbon was so upset Reyburn missed the pitch before Dee Gordon tripled in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers that after the inning he approached Reyburn to ask him a question.
“You know you messed that call up,” Papelbon shouted.
Papelbon told Reyburn he wanted to ask him a question, except Reyburn wouldn’t let him. He motioned for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as crew chief Derryl Cousins headed toward home plate to intervene. Papelbon never got to ask Reyburn his question, but he told reporters afterward what he would have asked. And I’ve got to say it would have been one of the most brilliant questions ever asked an umpire during a game.
“I wanted to know if he could throw me out for what I was thinking,” he said.
Or maybe Cinco Ocho said that.
Well, we know one of them picked up their National League-leading 12th save in tonight’s 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. Papelbon tried to downplay the fact he faced and beat his former team for the first time. Asked if the night felt any differently, he said, “There was a little extra buzz in the ballpark tonight, a weekend game. But other than that, no.” Asked later if he planned to send any text messages to his former teammates, he said, “No. We’ve got to win the series.”
The Hardball Times has an excellent note about the Phillies, which seems fitting considering they are struggling to get back to .500:
Ninety years ago today the Phillies were a .500 franchise for the last time.
That’s pretty amazing, but here is the most incredible line in that note: “To get back to .500, they’d have to average 87 wins a years for the next century.”
Of course, these Phillies couldn’t care less about that. They’re 16-19 and trying to get to .500 for the first time since May 3, and above .500 for the first time since Opening Day. They are 2-1 since Charlie Manuel ripped into his team Wednesday, but they will need to play much better against much stronger competition to make a run in the National League East. I have a lot of people asking me if I think the Phillies are cooked. I don’t believe so, but they have about two months to prove me right before Ruben Amaro Jr. potentially makes big changes before the July 31 trade deadline.
So because it’s Monday and nobody likes a Debbie Downer, here are some numbers that might leave you encouraged (maybe?):
- The Phillies are averaging 4.7 runs per game over their last 19 games. If they had been scoring at that pace since Opening Day, they would rank fourth in the National League in scoring. It’s also a better clip than last season, when they averaged 4.4 runs per game for the season. If they can keep it up they should win more than they lose, assuming the pitching is there.
- Phillies starters have a 3.03 ERA, which ranks third in the league. It goes without saying the only thing that has not been an issue this season is the Phillies’ starting pitching. It has been consistently good since the beginning of the season. (Remove that brutal start against Atlanta, and Roy Hallday has a 2.12 ERA).
- It’s the bullpen that has been awful. Its 5.12 ERA is 15th in the league. It is a very small sample size against the second-worst offense in the league, but the Phillies bullpen allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out nine in seven innings over the weekend against the Padres. Antonio Bastardo has allowed one hit, three walks and struck out five in seven innings in his last seven appearances. Chad Qualls said he discovered a mechanical flaw in his delivery, which he said is easily fixable. He threw two scoreless innings over the weekend. And, yes, that was Jonathan Papelbon pitching in a save situation yesterday for the first time since May 1.
Make anything of those numbers?
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- June 16: Barnes & Noble, 4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del., 2:00 p.m.