Rough outing has Brad Boxberger looking over his shoulder

September 3, 2018

Arizona Diamondbacks – Neither of the first two hitters that Brad Boxberger faced on Sunday took their bats off their shoulders, as 8 of his 11 pitches ended up out of the zone, putting the tying and winning runs on base. After a sac bunt, Boxberger was lifted for Archie Bradley, whose very first offering was banged off the top of the center field wall by Matt Kemp for a walkoff double. After the game, Torey Lovullo said that Boxberger would still be the team’s closer — and by performance, that seems perfectly reasonable, as after a tough June, the veteran righty had converted 12 of his past 14 saves with a 3.14 ERA. But with the Diamondbacks in a dogfight for a playoff spot, it’s likely they’ll get more creative in the 9th inning down the stretch, as Lovullo has suggested.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Ziegler.

Texas Rangers – Eddie Butler picked up a three-inning save — his second of the season — in an 18-4 blowout victory. Butler does not factor in to the Rangers’ usual late inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: LeClerc | Gearrin | Claudio.

Tampa Bay Rays – Sergio Romo’s disappearing act continued on Sunday, as Jose Alvarado recorded another save in the would-be closer’s absence. The Rays beat has been entirely silent about Romo, as nobody has appeared to even ask about his whereabouts despite the fact that he hasn’t pitched since August 25. We’re nudging Alvarado to the top of this committee until Romo shows his face again.

Updated hierarchy: *Alvarado | Romo | Roe.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Kenta Maeda – Kenley Jansen has gone three straight.
2. Jared Hughes/David Hernandez – Raisel Iglesias has pitched in two straight, throwing 2.1 innings and 55 pitches, and Jared Hughes pitched two innings yesterday.

1. Jeurys Familia – If Blake Treinen goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
2. Hector Rondon – If Roberto Osuna goes tonight, it’ll be three straight.
3. Joe Jimenez – Shane Greene needed 30 pitches last night to pick up the save; if he goes again today, he could get tomorrow off.