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Jonathan Papelbon is tired of talking about his velocity

Apr 17, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

Jonathan Papelbon AP AP

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon locked down his fourth save of the season in impressive fashion this afternoon against the Braves, retiring the side in order while recording a pair of swinging strikeouts. He now has five straight scoreless appearances since his disastrous blown save against the Rangers on April 2.

Papelbon was asked about his velocity after the game, which Brooks Baseball notes topped out at 93.7 mph today, a marked improvement from his early appearances this season. As you’ll see in the video below from CSNPhilly.com, he’s pretty tired of talking about it.

Velocity obviously isn’t everything, as location, movement, and mixing your pitches all matter, but you’d certainly take higher velocity over lower velocity. Among other things, it correlates to higher strikeout rates, which means fewer balls put into play. This minimizes the chance of something going wrong.

This is relevant with with a fastball-dependent reliever like Papelbon, as HardballTalk’s own Bill Baer passed along this useful little tidbit earlier this evening:

While Papelbon is tired of hearing about his velocity, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg spoke about it after the game and told Paul Hagen of MLB.com that he’s encouraged with what he has seen recently:

“He seems to be picking it up a little bit and throwing his fastball. Sat around 93. He’s getting into a groove. His velocity is going upwards so that’s all good.”

Upwards velocity for Papelbon is a good thing? Interesting theory.

  1. commonsenseisnotcmonman - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    To be fair, Phillies fans are tired of Papelbon talking and wish he would just shut up and pitch out the remainder of his contract.

    • commonsenseisnotcmonman - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Also who the eff calls it “V-low”…

  2. sandrafluke2012 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I like Papelbon. First ballot guy too

    • raysfan1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      No disrespect to him, but if he retires right now, he does not get enshrined in the Hall of Fame at all let alone first ballot. Another 4 seasons like his first 4 full years in Boston, and it becomes very interesting. However, he is 34 and clearly no longer the other-worldly pitcher he once was. I’d are, like 98% of all big leaguers ever, he never gets elected.

  3. chaseutley - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    The shrine to Ric Flair in his locker is epic!

  4. schmedley69 - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    That dude ain’t right.

  5. cur'68 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    “Vee-Lo”…Veeee-Loooooo….Your Vee is too Looooooooowwwww…..

    Y’know, I thought I was going quietly off the rails. Then I see a Papelbon interview. Yeah. Vee-Low. He’s nuts.

  6. unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    He’s got half a point – crafty guys with good motion and deception can also get guys out. But Baer has the other half of the point. Pap’s frustration stems from the fact that he used to be a great closer, and now he’s just ok. Part of what made him special was 96. Part of what made his splitter dive like a test pilot was flying it was that good vee-lo.

  7. aceshigh11 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    What a clown.

  8. pisano - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    You must be joking about the hall of fame, the only hall he’ll be in is the one to the mental health office.

  9. yahmule - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    That picture of him would make a charming Fathead.

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