San Diego Padres make needed move with Josh Hader

Aug 18, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) looks on after the last out of the top of the ninth inning was recorded against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) looks on after the last out of the top of the ninth inning was recorded against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The San Diego Padres thought that Josh Hader would solidify the ninth inning going forward. While that should eventually be the case, it may take longer than expected.

Following yet another meltdown on August 19, the Padres realized that they needed to do something. That has resulted in Hader being removed from the closer position, at least temporarily, as they will use a committee approach for the time being.

San Diego Padres had to do something with Josh Hader

In theory, Hader should have been the answer in the ninth inning. Taylor Rogers, who was sent to Milwaukee as part of the trade package to bring Hader to San Diego, had been shaky in that role this year. While Hader himself had struggled prior to the deadline, the belief was that he would return to form once his fate was determined.

That has not been the case thus far. He has allowed six runs on five hits and five walks over his 3.1 innings, hitting two batters and uncorking two wild pitches. His most recent outing, where he faced three batters, allowing all three to score without recording an out, underscored the need for a change.

It is not a surprise that the Padres feel that Hader needs a mental break. It is also entirely possible that, once he finds his comfort zone, he will return to form. However, the Padres are also battling for a spot in the postseason and have fallen to the final Wild Card berth. They cannot afford to wait for Hader to find his form and dominate once again.

And that is the problem. The Padres cannot pitch Hader in a high leverage situation at this point. Meanwhile, they cannot afford for him to take too much longer to acclimate to being in San Diego and be ready to close. Time in running out on the season, and with the Brewers on their heels, the Padres need every boost they can get.

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The San Diego Padres had hoped Josh Hader would be the answer. While he still can be, time is running out on the 2022 season.