The Philadelphia Phillies have had their bullpen struggles this season. They are a bullpen full of mostly rookies who are trying to find their comfort zones in the major leagues. They need a person they can look up to. That should be veteran closer Jonathan Papelbon, yet he has not been reliable this season.
Papelbon is in his second season with the Phillies. This season, he has an ERA of 2.59. That may not seem bad, but he has not been the closer everyone thought he could be. Papelbon has had 32 save opportunities. He blew seven of those saves. Closers are supposed to come in and be lights out. Yes, they do not have to be perfect every time, but seven is a lot. He has been letting his team down, along with the fans.
Last season, Papelbon had an ERA of 2.44, which is slightly better. He had the opportunity to save 42 games last season and only blew four of them.
Papelbon is going to be 33 next season. He has been in the majors since 2005 and may be losing some of his steam. His arm may have seen too many innings or thrown too many fastballs.
The Phillies should consider looking for a closer this offseason. They need someone who is reliable and a little younger. The starting pitchers have pitched excellent games this season and have seen their starts go to waste. They deserve to get the W, which is why a new closer is needed.
Papelbon has had some good times with the Phillies and certainly has made things exciting. It is time for a change in 2014.