MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Brad Boxberger is no longer the Diamondbacks’ primary closer. Going forward, manager Torey Lovullo will close out games based on matchups.
Boxberger, 30, has struggled recently. He blew Sunday’s save chance against the Braves, yielding three runs while recording only one out. He has given up runs in three of four appearances to start the month of September, causing his ERA to balloon to 4.41.
Boxberger had been solid prior to September, ending August with a 3.45 ERA, 31 saves in 37 chances, and a 67/24 K/BB ratio in 47 innings.
Yoshihisa Hirano, Brad Ziegler, Archie Bradley, and Andrew Chafin could all see some save opportunities down the stretch. The D-Backs entered Monday’s action 2.5 games out of first place in the NL West and three games out of the second Wild Card slot, so this change will certainly have an impact on whether or not the D-Backs reach the postseason and in what fashion.
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, the solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors.
The details, from a report from the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department are ugly.
According to authorities, Vázquez has allegedly been engaging in sexual activity with a now-15-year-old girl from the time she as 13 years-old. As recently as this July Vázquez allegedly sent the victim videos of him engaging in an unspecified sex act. Vázquez also allegedly sent the victim texts saying that they would meet for sex after the baseball season was over.
The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. While, like many states, Florida has “close-in-age” exceptions, they do not apply to the 28-year-old Vázquez and someone as young as his alleged victim. Non-legally speaking, the allegations amount to what can and should be called rape — sexual activity without consent due to the impossibility of consent in these allegations — separate and apart from the specific counts with which Vázquez has been charged. It is possible, of course, that authorities could amend and/or add to the charges he currently faces.
Vázquez has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while the case is pending against him.
We will, without question, be following this story as it develops.