Does Jonathan Papelbon Still Have It?

charles montyContributor IMarch 2, 2010

Jonathan Papelbon is a great closer.  He's been consistently great in his years with the Boston Red Sox.  He's amassed 151 saves in five years with Boston with a career ERA of 1.84. 

He's known for his passion and his brute strength pitching, but this past season, even with 38 successful saves with only three blown, we've been able to see number 58 struggle in the clutch.  Late in the season when it came crunch time it seemed batters figured out his fastball.  That, or maybe hes just not throwing it the way he used to.

Papelbon got what he wanted with a new one-year deal base salary of $9.35 million with possible incentives, avoiding arbitration for the second straight offseason.  Now, it's time to give the Boston fans what they want.

The Red Sox fans want to see the clutch Papelbon with a fiery attitude.  But in order to do that, he's got to add another pitch.  He became a pitcher that fell in love with his fastball, and whether batters figured it out or his lost some velocity is debatable.