6/10/2014 11:15 P.M. ET
Papelbon joins exclusive club with 300th save
By Michael Radano / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- When closer Jonathan Papelbon came up through the Boston organization, then general manager Theo Epstein thought of the hard-throwing righty as a starter. The only problem was that's not how Papelbon viewed himself.
Papelbon worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning of the Phillies' 5-2 win over the Padres on Tuesday night to record his 300th career save. Papelbon reached the milestone in just 552 games -- matching Trevor Hoffman for second-fastest to do so all time. Papelbon, who has not allowed an earned run in 22 of his 23 appearances, is the 26th closer in MLB history to reach the 300 saves plateau, tying Jason Isringhausen and Bruce Sutter for 24th on the all-time list.
"It means a lot to me, more than what most people would probably think," Papelbon said. "I started this a long time ago and I was supposed to be a starter. It's been a long journey since then. I don't know how happy he was when I told him I wanted to do that, but it's all turned out the way I expected it and hoped it would. I got to keep working hard and keep putting in the work to stay healthy, and hopefully try to get another 300 if I stay healthy.
"I've been able to take care of my body and take care of my arm, and do the things to stay healthy. I've been fortunate enough to stay off the DL for my entire career. Knowing that and knowing when you need a day off, and knowing when to push it, is a big key. The closer is a volatile role and I knew that going into it."
Aware of his place in history, Papelbon has no intentions of stopping and knows full well, after starting his career in Boston, who sits atop the saves list. That would be former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, with 652.
"Well you know, the closer's role is what it is today because of Mariano Rivera," Papelbon said. "There is no other man that is solely responsible for it but him. In my opinion, he made the role what it is today and I've told him many a time that he's the godfather of all closers. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be in this type of situation today.
"When I was in Boston, I used to joke with him all the time. He'd come back for another year and play and it seemed like he had some kind of fountain of youth over there in Panama. He made it harder and harder for me every year. Everyone's chasing him so hopefully one day I can get somewhere close to him, and we'll see what happens if I can stay healthy."
Adams relieved with clean MRI on right shoulder
PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Adams expected the worst.
So it was understandable that the 35-year old setup man appeared in very positive spirits on Tuesday afternoon. Adams had an MRI on his right shoulder that came up negative and while he'll be sidelined for up to 10 days, it's better than the alternative.
"The worst would have been the rotator cuff was torn up again," said Adams, who is on the 15-day disabled list. "I don't have much of that left so any kind of tear is bad news."
Instead of surgery, Adams will receive a cortisone injection at some point later this week to hopefully strengthen a frayed labrum. From there, Adams -- who has a 2.12 ERA -- will be sidelined until near the end of June.
"To get those results back, I'm optimistic again," Adams said. "It will be at least 10 days before I pick up the ball. That's not in stone or anything, but around that time. We'll do the injection in the next few days, let it calm down, and then strengthen it back up."
• According to manager Ryne Sandberg, veteran left-handed ace Cliff Lee is close to picking up a ball again after sustaining a strained left elbow. Lee has not thrown since May 19.
"This is the first time he's gone through something like this other than some neck and back issues, so it's all new to him," Sandberg said. "In that area it's necessary to get pain free before he starts anything. The sensation and discomfort lingered a little bit longer.
• Third baseman Cody Asche (left hamstring strain) will play in simulated games this week in Clearwater, Fla. If all goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Friday.
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.