Diamondbacks' Yoshihisa Hirano: Could see work in save situations
Hirano could see usage in save situations after Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced Monday that Brad Boxberger would be removed from the closer's role, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. "It's going to be done by matchup and trying to get through the situation the best that we can based on the hitters that are coming up and based on who's available in the bullpen," Lovullo said of the team's closing picture. "We've got to get there first, and once we get there you're probably going to see a variety of guys finishing the game for us."
While Lovullo avoided naming any candidates to replace Boxberger at the back end of the bullpen, Hirano seems to have the best case for filling the vacancy. Though Archie Bradley has primarily acted as the club's top setup option this season and trails only Boxberger with three saves, he hasn't been dependable in the second half with a 8.20 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and 3.9 BB/9 across 21 appearances. Hirano, meanwhile, has prior closing experience from his days in Japan and has been a steady performer throughout his rookie campaign, submitting a 1.91 ERA and avoiding the home-run issues that have more frequently plagued Bradley and Boxberger. The 34-year-old thus looks like Arizona's most reliable choice against lineups that skew right-handed heavy, with southpaws Andrew Chafin and Jake Diekman perhaps seeing more ninth-inning work versus lefties if Lovullo sticks to the matchups-based plan he teased.
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