Theo: Papelbon is the closer

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Ian Browne tweets that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said today that despite Jonathan Papelbon’s shakiness last year, despite the signing of Bobby Jenks and despite the fact that Daniel Bard is pretty tough stuff himself, he has assured Papelbon that he is still the team’s closer.

And that assurance will matter until the first time Papelbon allows a base runner in a save situation, at which point Red Sox Nation will collectively freak.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.