Padres give Josh Hader ‘little break’ from closer role after latest meltdown

Josh Hader
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After his latest meltdown Friday night, Josh Hader was removed as the San Diego Padres moved closer, manager Bob Melvin told reporters on Saturday. according to The Athletic. Melvin said they are giving Hader a “little break” and will be using a shutter per commission for now.

On Friday, San Diego lost to last place Washington Nationals (WAS 6, SD 3) after Hader entered the ninth inning of a tie and failed to retire a batter. He walked the first, made a throwing error on a tapper back to the mound to score the go-ahead run, then served a two-run homer to rookie Alex Call.

“There will always be an obstacle in this game that you have to get over,” Hader told MLB.com after the loss. “That’s one of the things right now — this obstacle hits a little harder than most, of course — but that’s why we’re playing this game. You have two options. You can give up and fold, or you can figure it out and go forward.”

Hader was on the mound when he scored the winning run in each of his last three appearances, giving up six in only 3 1/3 innings with the Padres. His struggles go back much further than the trade deadline, however. Hader has allowed 19 runs and 34 baserunners in his last 12 2/3 innings dating back to July 1, including six home runs.

With Hader removed from the role of closer, in the ninth inning, the Padres mainly leaned on right-handers Luis GarcĂ­a and Robert Suarez, and left-handed Adrian Morejon. Nick Martinez, who has been a revelation since he stepped into an auxiliary role a few weeks ago, could also face rescue opportunities.

Acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for four players on the deadline, Hader was an All-Star and meritorious All-Star this season, with a 1.09 ERA striking out 41 in 24 2/3 innings in July. The Padres will be able to keep Hader next season as a player eligible for arbitration. He’s not a mercenary.

66-56, the Padres come in one game higher on Saturday in the third and final wildcard spot in the National League. San Diego is 6-10 since the trade deadline and 25-32 in their last 57 games.


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