Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had a change of heart Friday, announcing that Tony Watson is no longer the team's closer. The role now will be shared by Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio on a situational basis.
"There's not a closer," Hurdle told reporters. "Depending on the lineup, depending on the game situation, Felipe could pitch the eighth. He's going to be in the same role he's been in. Nicasio's going to be in the same role he's been in. One of them will pitch the ninth inning."
Hurdle had given Watson a vote of confidence on Wednesday, but he said Friday that he's now looking to give Watson opportunities in less stressful situations to help the 32-year-old left-hander get back on track.
Watson converted his first seven save opportunities this season, but he has locked down just three of his past eight save chances.
In 24 appearances this season, Watson is 4-1 with 10 saves, five blown saves and a 4.44 ERA. Watson blew saves both Tuesday and Wednesday in losses to Baltimore.
"We'll try to to give him multiple touches during the week -- in a perfect world, every other day -- and see how it plays out," Hurdle said of Watson.
Rivero has an 0.58 ERA in 31 appearances, while Nicasio's ERA is 1.35 in 28 games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.