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  1. Or trade him at the deadline (which I think is in the cards for Theo & Co. anyway).

    Comment by Joe R — June 7, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  2. I foresee Daniel Bard taking up closing duties next season, and Boston cutting ties with Papelbon.

    Comment by Shaggychild — June 7, 2010 @ 11:28 am

  3. An owner in my league just stole him based on analysis like this. If you bother to look at the rest of the picture, since he does not throw only a FB, you’ll see that his overall CT% has returned to elite levels, perhaps because a softer slider and harder split, thrown more often, are completely dominant pitches for him so far. His first pitch strike % is north of 70% also. So he’s getting ahead in the count or hitters are swinging away at that first pitch, and then he is EITHER intentionally going out of the zone trying to induce weak contact or get hitters to chase, OR he is having command problems with the FB. If it’s the former, “mission accomplished,” no?

    No problem here with FIP, but when a player’s approach changes and there is a wide gulf between reality and estimate, might want to dig a little deeper. I really wish I was the guy that just stole him. Great buy low opp.

    Comment by Paul — June 7, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  4. I do not think Pap is going to get better. His delivery, arm slot and mechanics have all changed drastically. I do not know if this is due to injury or what but go back and look at the release point charts and the video starting from 07 to now. He is not the same pitcher. As a Sox fan I am dreading hearing the months of main stream coverage killing Theo for non tendering Pap as most will see the saves number and not the fact he is not effective anymore.

    Comment by Mike Ketchen — June 7, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  5. I think the issue lies with how much he throws his fastball. This year, he’s been throwing it 77% of the time, and this is not drastically dissimilar from his pitch type usage from previous years. Hitters are just sitting fastball, possibly?

    Comment by George — June 7, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  6. “. If you bother to look at the rest of the picture, since he does not throw only a FB, ”

    Actually, he pretty much does just throw a fastball. (93% of the time, 7% slider).

    Papelbon had these same issues last year, and then turned it on in the second half. He’s got all sorts of shoulder issues, and I think hes just protecting himself.

    Comment by Rich — June 7, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  7. Not sure where you’re getting those numbers. As George relates below, FG tables say 77% on the FB. Higher than league average, obviously, but the slider and split are a combined +6 runs while the FB is .3. More noise than worry for me, we need to see another 1/3 season.

    Comment by Paul — June 7, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  8. I think a tender-and-trade is far more likely than an outright non-tender especially as only 1/6 of arbitration settlements are guaranteed.

    Comment by djh — June 7, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

  9. His shoulder is all screwed up. He is throwing from a different arm slot, and hes drastically less efficient that way. It is supposedly better on the shoulder though.

    He did the same thing last year, at the beginning of the season. At halfway through the season, eh changed the armslot, and the numbers got better.

    Comment by Rich — June 8, 2010 @ 9:13 am

  10. You can certainly look at the *trend* in Papelbon’s xFIP, because there’s a very good chance that there’s been no change to whatever BABIP and HR/FB skills he has. But he’s demonstrably a pitcher for whom xFIP is just plain wrong. To note that his xFIP is now replacement level tells us nothing.

    In fact, his career ERA / career xFIP = 0.57 * 2010 xFIP = 2.88, which is better than his actual ERA. He’s given up just 2 pure line drives (non-Fliner) all year, so a good chunk of his insane BABIP is real.

    Comment by Eric M. Van — June 9, 2010 @ 3:24 am

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