Former Tampa Rays’ reliever Brad Boxberger will start the 2020 season on the Marlins’ initial Opening Day roster. According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the club has selected his contract, and Miami will soon add him to the 40-man roster.
Boxberger had previously been with the Marlins on a minor-league deal since the beginning of Spring Training, back in February. The 32-year-old appeared in six Grapefruit League games, allowing one run over 6.1 innings, alongside eight strikeouts and a walk. This amounts to a 1.42 ERA.
Last year, Boxberger pitched 27 innings in relief for the Royals in what proved to be his worst season yet. He posted a 5.40 ERA with 9.1 strikeouts per nine and a walk rate of 5.7 per nine – all career-lows, or near that mark. After a slow start, KC released him and he spent the rest of the campaign in the minor-league systems of Washington and Cincinnati.
The USC product was most recently in a bigger role with the Diamondbacks in 2018. During that year, he served as the team’s closer, pitching 53.1 innings with 4.39 ERA and 71 strikeouts (12.0 per nine innings).
The Cincinnati Reds drafted Boxberger away from the Trojans in 2011. In December of that year, he was traded alongside Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Yonder Alonso to the Padres, playing there for two seasons. In 2014, a deal saw Boxberger go to Tampa Bay, where he had the longest stint of his career.
Over four seasons with the Rays, he posted a 3.33 ERA in 181.1 innings with 240 strikeouts. This included an All-Star campaign in 2015 when he recorded career-high 41 saves. The previous year he managed another pair of career-high statistical accomplishments – 2.37 ERA and 14.5 K/9.
The Marlins signed Boxberger to a minor-league deal back in February. He became a part of a series of bullpen signings which also included Brandon Kintzler and Yimi Garcia, among others. Nevertheless, the Marlins bullpen, which posted a 4.97 ERA, still lacks depth. Sergio Romo and Jarlin Garcia, the two best relievers on the staff, have departed. Adam Conley, who pitched the second-most innings in relief last year, posted a 6.53 ERA.
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