A.J. Hinch names Roberto Osuna closer for rest of season

Roberto Osuna will be the Houston Astros' primary closer for the rest of the season, manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday.

Hinch said on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio that he recently met with Hector Rondon, whom Hinch plans to use more in the seventh and eighth innings going forward. Rondon had served as the team's primary closer since late June.

"I wanted Hector to know that I'm gonna start to use [him] more in the seventh and eighth, which means that Osuna's going to get the majority of save opportunities. But I need to use him in creative ways, too," Hinch said.

"I think you'll see that happen where Rondon gets some right matchups in the seventh and eighth and [Ryan] Pressly will be somewhere in there and [Collin] McHugh will be somewhere in there and Osuna will close the door, which is how this bullpen's built."

Hinch said he has tried to stay away from defined roles in the bullpen.

"Sometimes when you name the closer you limit yourself as to like, 'OK, you have to have the lead and you have to be within three runs and it has to be in the ninth inning,' and I think it makes for bad decisions for managers," he said.

The Astros acquired Osuna from the Toronto Blue Jays before the trade deadline for a package that included former Astros closer Ken Giles. The move drew widespread criticism because Osuna was serving a 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

Osuna has declined to provide specifics about what led to his May 8 arrest in Toronto, citing an ongoing legal matter. He has pleaded not guilty and is due next in court on Sept. 5.

Since being reinstated from his suspension, Osuna is 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA over six innings for the Astros. He had 104 saves during his career with Toronto.

He pitched the eighth inning Tuesday night against the Mariners, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out three. Rondon, 30, then followed with a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his team-leading 14th save in Houston's 3-2 win.