PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Rays closer Brad Boxberger will miss at least eight weeks following 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 and became an All-Star for the first time.
Cash didn't announce 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.''