PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Rays closer Brad Boxberger will miss at least eight weeks after having abdominal muscle surgery.
The American League saves leader had the operation in Philadelphia, manager Kevin Cash said Friday. There is no timetable for his return, but Cash said the team will have a better idea after the first four weeks of recovery.
Cash added that the “core muscle” injury had been nagging Boxberger this spring and he needed to take care of it.
“It was very unique that it wasn’t really causing pain,” he said. “Had we not got it fixed, then it nags for a long time. . Box was in good spirits, and (it was) a very successful procedure.”
In 2015, Boxberger had 41 saves in 47 opportunities. The 27-year-old right-hander was 4-10 with a 3.71 ERA. He was an All-Star for the first time.
Cash did not name a new closer. The team will distribute the role for now among Alex Colome, Xavier Cedeno, Danny Farquhar, Steve Geltz and Ryan Webb.
“It’s a blow because he’s so valuable to our team, especially at the back end of a game,” Cash said. “We have a number of guys that could try to fill that void for the first month of the year. . We will close how it matches up and who is ready to pitch on each given night.”
A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.
MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.
The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.
St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.
There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.
Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.
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