Rays closer Brad Boxberger out at least 8 weeks

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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.”

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.