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#pounditFriday, November 27, 2020

Dusty Baker considering removing Jonathan Papelbon from closer role?

Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon may not be long for the Washington Nationals closer role.

After Papelbon blew a save on Tuesday night against Cleveland, Nationals manager Dusty Baker seemed to call into question whether Papelbon was the solution in the role.

“It’s too soon after,” Baker said of Papelbon’s role after the game, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASN. “I mean, that’s his job. That’s what he’s getting paid for. I don’t know. We just have to go back to the drawing board. It’s too early to say after the game.”

Papelbon’s confidence has not been dented by his struggles.

“My confidence in this game has never fluctuated, and it never will,” Papelbon said. “I think that’s something that’s never really happened to me.”

Papelbon’s ERA is a career-worst 4.18, and his 1.423 WHIP is the highest since his brief rookie stint in 2005. These struggles are a big reason why the Nationals were in the market for a closer, and why they may well still be looking.

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