Diamondbacks Manager Hints Mark Melancon May Lose Closer Role


Mark Melancon may start seeing consequences for his early-season struggles. The 37-year-old entered this season having lost just 12 games over the past five years. In 2021, his 39 saves ranked as the most by any major league closer. He lost just three games and held a 2.23 ERA. This season, Melancon has produced an ugly 8.49 ERA and 2.14 WHIP over 11.2 innings. He's already lost five games---more than a third of the amount he's played in. 

Whether it be a slump or simply age catching up to the four-time All-Star, Melancon is hurting the Arizona Diamondbacks right now. When asked if Melancon's performance has put his closer role in jeopardy, skipper Torey Lovullo dodged the question in a manner that seemed to hint towards the affirmative. 

"We're going to still have some more discussions about his availability," said Lovullo. "You know, he's had a heavy workload, he was on [the injured COVID list] for a short period of time. I was probably asking a little too much too soon. So I'll take a little bit of the blame for what he did three out of four, but I don't know that answer right now."

Lovullo didn't place all the blame on Melancon as he owned up to overusing the right-hander. But that doesn't change the reality statistics show: Melancon is hindering his team's success when on the mound. It seems likely that Lovullo will give Melancon a break from the closer role in the games to come, if only as a chance for him to mentally recuperate. 

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