Internal Options Exist Should Phillies Deal Papelbon

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK | Staff Writer
December 22, 2013, 11:45 a.m.
@avdbkr20samuel
With talk spreading of Jonathan Papelbon being shopped to other clubs, it becomes interesting to think about who might fill his role in the back-end of the Phillies bullpen.

At this point, the Orioles appear to have a sincere interest in Papelbon, but he is owed $26 million over the next two years and the Phillies are unlikely to eat a portion of the contract to make any trade plausible. 
   
It is not likely that this trade will even happen, but if it does, here are two potential candidates that could fill the closer role. 

One of them is lefty, Antonio Bastardo and the other is the young hard-throwing righty, B.J. Rosenberg.

Bastardo is already a somewhat proven closer for the Phillies.  In limited opportunities, he compiled a 15-11 record with a 3.65 ERA, while recording 11 saves.  

Bastardo's two most impressive seasons in the bullpen were 2011 and 2013.  In 2011, he went 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA, while saving eight out of nine games.  Last year he had a 3-2 record with a career-high 2.32 ERA, while punching out 47 batters in 42 2/3 innings.

Rosenberg is not yet established, making his debut in 2012 as a late inning reliever.  In limited innings, he has recorded one save in one opportunity, but has a 5.44 career ERA.  

Nonetheless, he has improved in that category, going from a 6.12 ERA in 2012 to a 4.58 ERA last year.  

For now, it seems that if the Papelbon trade were to happen, Bastardo would be the immediate closer.  Once Rosenberg develops his fastball and off-speed pitches a bit more, he could be given more chances to prove himself as the future closer.

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia-region.

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