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Rays lose closer Brad Boxberger for eight weeks after injury

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At the start, the problem for the Tampa Bay Rays may be closing.

The Rays have lost all-star closer Brad Boxberger, whose 41 saves led the American League in 2015. Boxberger had surgery to repair an abdominal muscle injury and will miss eight weeks. That would keep Boxberger sidelined for the season’s first month.

The Rays had depended heavily upon Boxberger. They traded away Jake McGee, their other reliever with extensive closing history. Instead, manager Kevin Cash said, the team will rely on a committee to close that will include Ryan Webb, Alex Colome, Danny Farquhar and Steve Geltz.

“It was an injury he thought was kind of an unknown. Initially we thought tight (hamstring),” Cash said. “But it was kind of like the abdominal abductor that was torn and they just went in to fix it. It was very unique in that it really wasn’t causing pain. It was just kind of a nag. But had we not got it fixed then it nags for a long time.”

Cash has talked of having his starters throw additional innnings this year.

Last year, Boxberger was a mixed bag. He had 10 losses and six blown saves, and his ERA was 3.71, which is high for a closer.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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