Boxberger (oblique) had a successful 15-pitch bullpen session Thursday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The 28-year-old closer suffered no setbacks in the brief session, which came on the heels of him playing catch on Monday for the first time since his latest injury. Already on his second DL stint in 2016, the veteran pitcher was cautiously optimistic following the latest development. "Everything was feeling well," Boxberger said. "I'll progress from there."
His decision to accept an outright assignment paid off as Venable is back with the team, replacing Joc Pederson (shoulder) on the roster, just a little over a week after being designated for assignment. Venable went 20/20 as recently as 2013 but went 1-for-10 with the Dodgers earlier this season and it's hard to imagine he'll play enough to gain any relevance in mixed leagues.
Will Venable was summoned back from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Pederson's spot on the roster, but it looks like Trayce Thompson will serve as Pederson's primary replacement in center field. Pederson will be eligible to return when play resumes following the All-Star break, but it's uncertain if he'll be ready at that time.
Howard represents one of the biggest front court pieces of the free agency puzzle, so his signing with the Hawks is an interesting one given that they were still in the conversation for Al Horford. Howard's signing with the Hawks makes it unlikely for Horford to return to Atlanta, suggesting that Howard and Paul Millsap will combine for their starting front court combo in 2016. Howard showed flashes of the dominant player that made eight consecutive All-Star games while with Houston over the last three seasons, but those flashes got fewer and farther between over time. He'll have a strong supporting cast around him in Atlanta that also includes an intelligent coach in Mike Budenholzer that could be able to tap back into Howard's talent.
Prince spent the majority of the 2015-16 campaign with the Senators, notching 12 points (three goals, nine assists) over 42 games before heading to New York via trade in February. The 23-year-old winger picked up five points (three goals, two assists) over 20 regular-season games with the Isles, and added four points (three goals, one assists) over 11 playoff games during New York's postseason run. The 2011 second-round pick will likely begin the 2016-17 campaign in a bottom-six role with the Islanders.