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.”
The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Brooks Pounders from the Indians for cash considerations, the teams reported Saturday. Despite his limited and varied major-league experience, Pounders has put up intriguing numbers at the Triple-A level and is expected to step into a not-insignificant role with the Mets’ relief corps.
Pounders, 28, signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last December and pitched to a healthy 2.31 ERA, 2.8 BB/8, and 11.8 SO/9 over his first 35 innings in Cleveland’s farm system. He hasn’t taken the mound in a major-league setting since 2018, however, when he appeared in 14 games with the Rockies and labored through a much more unsightly 7.63 ERA, 1.2 BB/9, and 10.0 SO/9 across 15 1/3 frames. Still, his peripherals are promising, and there’s no question the Mets could use some help bolstering a bullpen that currently ranks eighth-worst in the league with a collective 5.31 ERA and 0.2 fWAR.
In subsequent roster moves, fellow righty Tyler Bashlor was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse for the second time this season, while Héctor Santiago was designated for assignment, Tim Peterson was optioned to Triple-A, and Chris Flexen was recalled from Triple-A. It’s been a less-than-ideal campaign for Bashlor so far this year: through 13 relief appearances for the club, he lost control of a bloated 5.23 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, and 9.3 SO/9 in 11 2/3 innings and had not been utilized in a game since June 2.