Brandon League is no longer the closer for the Seattle Mariners.
The move comes a day after League blew his third save in five chances, giving up three runs and making a costly error in the ninth inning as the Mariners lost 6-4 to the Los Angeles Angles on Friday night.
Seattle doesn’t have any relievers on their roster with experience in the closer role, but Mariners manager Eric Wedge said the team will use a committee approach in the ninth inning for the short-term.
“We’ll match up with what we think works,” Wedge told the Tacona News Tribune on Saturday. “We’ve only got seven guys in the bullpen, and Hisashi Iwakuma is the long guy and League will work in other roles for now. Other than them, it could be anyone, depending upon the situation.”
Some of the internal candidates to work the ninth inning include Tom Wilhlemsem, Charlie Furbush, Shawn Kelley and Steve Delabar.
In 20.1 innings this season, the former Toronto Blue Jay has an 0-4 record with nine saves, 13 strikeouts, 12 walks, a 4.43 ERA, and a 1.62 WHIP.
Despite League’s struggles, Wedge expects League will return to the closer’s role at some point this season.
“It’s not ideal, but this is where we’re at,” Wedge said. “We’re not going to name another closer, because like last year, Brandon will be back. He’s a good worker. He made adjustments last year in a similar situation, I expect he will this season, too.
“This is best for him and best for the team.”