Boxberger struck out one in a perfect eighth inning to record his second hold of the season in a win over the Nationals on Friday. The veteran right-hander has emerged as a reliable bridge to closer Brandon Kintzler. Boxberger has only been scored upon once in nine appearances, posting a 2.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 9:3 K:BB over 7.2 innings, and his fastball velocity has returned -- he topped out at 94.4 mph in Friday's outing. If anything were to remove Kintzler from the saves picture, Boxberger appears to be the likely next man up in the ninth for the Marlins.
Boxberger has made the Marlins' 30-man roster, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. He was added to the 40-man roster with this move. Frisaro notes that Boxberger is expected to pitch as a setup man. The 32-year-old righty saved 32 games for the Diamondbacks in 2018. If Brandon Kintzler struggles as the closer, or if manager Don Mattingly goes with a committee, Boxberger could add to his 77 career saves this season.
Boxberger is part of the Marlins' 60-man player pool, Craig Mish of SportsGrid.com reports. The veteran reliever was in camp on a minor-league deal, but he was in line to make the club prior to the shutdown, so this comes as no surprise. Brandon Kintzler, Ryne Stanek (back) and Yimi Garcia are better bets to get saves this year, but it wouldn't be that surprising if Boxberger got enough late-inning opportunities to record a couple saves in the condensed season.
Boxberger is expected to break camp with the Marlins, Craig Mish of SportsGrid reports. The veteran is in camp as a non-roster invitee, but he's shown increased velocity and owns a strong 6:0 K:BB in 5.1 innings this spring while allowing just a single hit and a single run. With 77 career saves to his name, he has a shot to earn high-leverage work in Miami this season, though Brandon Kintzler is expected to open the year as the closer.
Boxberger has looked good to begin spring training and is sitting 93-94 mph with his fastball, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. The last time the right-hander had that kind of giddyup on his heater, he was racking up 41 saves for the Rays in 2015. Boxberger has yet to give up a run through 3.1 innings this spring with a 4:0 K:BB, and if he continues to demonstrate he still has some gas left in his tank, the 31-year-old could begin the season in a high-leverage role for the Marlins.