Report: Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon used legal anti-inflammatory drug Toradol while playing for Boston Red Sox
Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon has admitted to using a legal - but increasingly controversial - pain-killing medication before coming to Philadelphia.
Papelbon told ESPN.com that he used Toradol, an anti-inflammatory, while a member of the Boston Red Sox. He added that he has not taken the drug since joining the Phillies.
When asked when he started taking Toradol, Papelbon said he did not remember an exact date. He recalled using it in 2007, a year in which he helped the Red Sox win the World Series. Papelbon made five saves in seven appearances in that year's playoffs, including three in the World Series and Game 7 of the ALCS.
Papelbon said he took the drug "maybe once a month," and was never told that it could have any adverse side effects. Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz said last year that using Toradol may have caused him to contract esophagitis, which led to a stay in a hospital intensive care unit.
Toradol is legal, and was prescribed by the Red Sox' training staff. Papelbon said he never heard of any Red Sox players being offered illegal performance-enhancing drugs while he was in Boston.
"No, no, no – never," Papelbon said. "I think that would be pretty asinine for any doctor or team trainer to say that."
The Phillies signed Papelbon as a free agent in November of 2011 and gave him a four-year, $50 million contract. Papelbon was signed to be the closer that the team lacked after Brad Lidge fell out of form.
At the time, it was the most lucrative contract ever given to a relief pitcher. It has since been trumped on a per-season basis by the two-year, $28 million deal that Rafael Soriano got from the Washington Nationals.
Papelbon converted 38 of 42 save opportunities last season. But his opportunities to close games were limited by struggles across the rest of the Phillies' bullpen.
When he joined the Phillies, Papelbon said he was asked by doctors whether he had previously used Toradol. He said he had, and was told he would have to stop. Papelbon said he has not taken the drug since.
Though Papelbon admitted to being "surprised" by the Phillies' stance on Toradol, he said that the team uses "safer anti-inflammatories here."