Jun 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) follows through on pitch during the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Last night, a post was released late by the Houston Chronicle beat writer Evan Drellich about Jonathan Papelbon would be open to coming to the ‘Dirty South.’ A quote from Drellich’s post states Papelbon’s true desire. “I’d go to Toronto, West Coast, East Coast, Dirty South,” Papelbon said. “I’ll go anywhere.” All Jonathan Papelbon wants to do is get out of Philadelphia soon. There have been no reports of the Houston Astros being linked to Papelbon. However, it’s a good time to ask would the Astros take on a character like Papelbon with the history of an outspoken Billy Wagner as a closer?
“I’d go to Toronto, West Coast, East Coast, Dirty South,” Papelbon said. “I’ll go anywhere,”-Via Evan Drellich.
It’s not really an insult, to say dirty south, here is the definition from the Urban Dictionary: “The following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina. Made popular some 10 years ago.”
The Astros have one of the stronger bullpens this year, but the relievers have been a little shaky recently during the team’s recent cold stretch. Let’s take a look at the Astros bullpen stats and see if they really need Papelbon on the team.
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2015 Astros bullpen stats via ESPN: 17-15 record/ 2.67 ERA/ 24 saves/ 258 strikeouts in 262 2/3 innings.
One of the weakest issues with the bullpen recently has walked too many batters. The Astros have 81 walks all season, but in the last ten games, they have walked 14 batters. 17% of the walks allowed by relievers all season has happened in the past 10 games. The five games before the break, they settled down on their walks averaging about one walk per game, but the bullpen has to stop allowing extra runners to reach base. While the bullpen has been the Astros strength for most of the year when Chad Qualls does not pitch, adding another All-Star arm wouldn’t hurt.
Papelbon’s 2015 stats from Baseball-Reference: 1-1/ 1.60 ERA/ 14 SV/ 35 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings.
Next: Would Jonathan Papelbon make sense?