Padres’ Josh Hader given ‘a little break’ from closing duties amid struggles

The San Diego Padres will be giving closer Josh Hader “a little break” from his duties, manager Bob Melvin closing told reporters Saturday. Hader was traded to San Diego from Milwaukee on Aug. 1.

The five-time All-Star has long been considered one of the premier relief arms in MLB, but has struggled mightily since making the move to the West Coast. In five appearances with the Padres, he has given up six earned runs, allowed five walks and hit two batters in just 3.1 innings.

On Friday night, Hader failed to record a single out after entering the game in the ninth inning with the game tied 3-3 against the Washington Nationals. After walking leadoff batter Victor Robles, Hader overthrew first on a tapper from Lane Thomas, allowing Robles to race around the diamond and score the go-ahead run.

Hader thenr allowed a two-run home to Alex Call, blowing the game open. Hader was met with a chorus of boos as he walked off the field after being pulled by Melvin.

On Saturday, the pitcher told reporters his recent string of issues are due to errors in his pitching mechanics. He said he has been pitching too “east to west.”

“When you’re going down to the mound, you want to work north-south,” Hader said.

Melvin said Saturday the plan is to work Hader into games in lower-leverage situations while he works on correcting those pitching mechanics. As of Aug. 20, Hader still leads MLB in saves.

(Photo: Ray Acevedo / USA Today)

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