Jonathan Papelbon will be the Phillies’s closer for the next four years. Concerns about the size and length of the contract aside, Papelbon’s arrival brings a larger cost to the City of Philadelphia.
Jonathan Papelbon takes 45 minutes between each pitch.
So that’s an exaggeration, but it is a peer-reviewed non-exaggeration to say that he takes an infuriatingly long time between pitches.
So I did some math to answer this question: How much of our time will Papelbon waste over the next 4 years? I addressed this question by using the Fangraphs’s ‘pace’ statistic which tracks time per pitch.
- As a point of comparison, fast-pitching Cliff Lee took 20.4 seconds between pitches in 2011.
- Ryan Madson, our previous closer, took 23.0 seconds between pitches last season.*
- Jonathan Papelbon took 1,714.3 seconds between pitches in 2011. No, ok, he took 31.9 seconds.
*The Rules of Baseball (cue angelic choir) give a pitcher 12 seconds to pitch after receiving the ball from the catcher. If every pitcher used 12 seconds, that would mean that Carlos Ruiz takes 11 seconds to get the ball back to Madson, and 8 seconds to get the ball back to Cliff Lee. Obviously, umpires are not enforcing this rule.