Boxberger removed as D-backs' closer

Lovullo opts to go with matchups after righty struggles

September 10th, 2018

DENVER -- When the D-backs next have a lead in the ninth inning, the ball will not automatically be given to Brad Boxberger, as manager Torey Lovullo said he'll instead let matchups determine who pitches.
"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. "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."
Boxberger has saved 32 games for the D-backs this year, but in four appearances this month, he is 0-3 and has allowed six runs in just two innings of work.
On Sunday, Boxberger came on in the ninth with the D-backs leading the Braves, 5-4, and after a pair of singles to start the frame, he gave up a three-run homer to .

After the game, Lovullo told Boxberger that he was going to go in a different direction with the ninth inning.
"He was on board," Lovullo said. "Obviously he was disappointed, as he should be, but at this point in time we feel like we got to maximize every situation and every opportunity to get 27 outs. He's still in that equation, but it just might be done a little bit differently."
Making a switch like that is a difficult decision for Lovullo, who is trying to make sure that he doesn't send the wrong message to the rest of the clubhouse.
"I don't want to be known as a manager who panics or makes hasty decisions," Lovullo said. "I feel like there's a process and a strategy that I follow. Sometimes to a fault. It's just what I believe in. It's something that's been talked about with these guys. It wasn't just all of a sudden done in the middle of the game. It's been addressed in a way where I feel like they don't think there's panic. Because the last thing I want them to think is that I'm panicking. I just want to do everything that I can to win the games. I think that's my responsibility."
Speaking of changes
started the final three games of the weekend series with the Braves and was in the starting lineup at second base for Monday's opener against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Lovullo values the experience that 31-year-old Descalso brings to the table with the postseason experience he had while playing for the Cardinals.
"I feel like he's having incredible at-bats," Lovullo said. "He thickens up the middle of our lineup and he loves this time of the year. He's got a great mindset. He's been in this environment for us. So yeah, you're going to see a little bit more of him down the stretch."

That comes at the expense of playing time for , who has been the starter at second base throughout the year. The D-backs are working to improve the switch-hitting Marte's mechanics from the left side.
"He was very professional about it and he was receptive," Lovullo said. "We talked about what his role is going to be and he's going continue to get starts it just is going to give Daniel a few more than he has had."