{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Papelbon can't explain velocity variance

|
Papelbon can't explain velocity variance play video for Papelbon can't explain velocity variance

SAN FRANCISCO -- The numbers are impressive.

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has a 1.38 ERA and five saves in 13 appearances this season. He has allowed just five hits, two runs and one walk and struck out eight in 13 innings. He would have a few more saves, except the Phillies have added a few insurance runs in the late innings recently.

Interestingly, Papelbon is pitching with success with less velocity than he has had in the past.

According to pitch f/x data, Papelbon's fastball is averaging 92.87 mph this season. It averaged 94.56 mph in 2012, 95.76 mph in 2011 and 95.66 mph in 2010. Some of that is attributable to the early part of the season. Papelbon's velocity over the previous three seasons averaged 0.88 mph slower in April than at the end of the year.

"I don't [know why], man," Papelbon said. "I have no idea."

Papelbon said he is healthy, and his results certainly would indicate that. It could be nothing, but it is worth noting because of his importance to the team and the fact he has $26 million remaining on his contract following this season.

"I think all pitchers don't really start tipping the scale, so to speak, until a couple months into the season," Papelbon said. "You've got me, man. I don't know. Tell [others asking] I don't know, either."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español