The unsettled closer situation has been one of the few question marks for the Washington Nationals, who are threatening to run away from the rest of the NL East with a 28-17 record.
On Wednesday, however, Dusty Baker indicated he had found the pitcher for the job, naming Koda Glover his closer after the right-hander finished out the Nationals' 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
"Koda was kind of lobbying for that in the first place. We wanted to break him in slowly because this guy's ... Shoot, he's only a year and a half out of college. So he had said that's the job he wanted, and so it's his now," Baker told reporters.
He is the third pitcher to be named the Nationals' closer this season. Washington began the season with Blake Treinen handling the ninth inning but the right-hander has struggled and currently has a 7.78 ERA and one blown save. Shawn Kelley, who was slated to be the team's closer until back problems landed him on the disabled list, also has struggled. He has a 5.93 ERA and two blown saves.
The 24-year old Glover, who was drafted as a closer out of Oklahoma State in 2015, is tied for the team lead with three saves this season (Treinen and Kelley also have three saves). Overall, he is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings over 16 appearances. He also has a blown save but has been the Nationals' most consistent option to finish games.
"He's very calm. He throws strikes, quality strikes, and he has a pretty good idea of what he's doing for a young pitcher," Baker told reporters.
As of Thursday morning, Baker had not informed Glover directly about the promotion.
"It's kind of understood," Baker said prior to his club's series finale with Seattle. "He's going in in the ninth. That's a pretty good sign."
ESPN's Eddie Matz contributed to this report.