Will Jonathan Papelbon Lose Closer’s Role If He Continues to Struggle?

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Will Jonathan Papelbon Lose Closer's Role If He Continues to Struggle? After committing his sixth blown save of the season, closer Jonathan Papelbon has drawn the ire of Red Sox Nation, to say the least.

Paps’ implosion in the ninth inning of Toronto’s 6-5 come-from-behind win on Thursday afternoon was his second of the young month. The 29-year-old blew a lead against Detroit on Aug. 1, but was able to snatch the win thanks to some bottom-of-the-ninth heroics from his offense.

The righty watched his ERA balloon from 2.74 to 3.26 on Thursday, and one more blown save will be a new career high.

Papelbon did not allow a single earned run in the month of July, but many fans feel that this season has been an incredible disappointment for the wily hurler. And with setup man Daniel Bard waiting in the wings, some feel it’s time to pass the torch and flip-flop their roles now, with just seven weeks left in the season.

Bard has a 1.89 ERA and three saves in 52 appearances this season and is all but officially the “closer of the future” in Boston. But how far into the future will Red Sox Nation have to wait if Paps continues to struggle?

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