According to a Thursday morning report from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Rays will be without a key relief pitcher for at least the next several weeks. Now expected to return “sometime in April,” right-handed relief pitcher Brad Boxberger has encountered a lingering lat injury.
As a result, the veteran hurler will be forced to take at least the next week off from throwing in order to then build back up en route to an April return.
#Rays Boxberger (lat) will take a week off from throwing then build back up, aiming to return sometime in April
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 23, 2017
However, the soon-to-be 29-year-old has become quite the oft-injured relief pitcher as of late. Last season, he appeared in just 27 regular season games for the Rays as the result of an oblique injury. Once again finding his way to the sideline, the severity of Boxberger’s latest setback remains to be determined while rest is expected to ease his pain.
After spending two seasons as a member of the San Diego Padres between 2012 and 2013, Boxberger has since spent three seasons in Tampa Bay with the Rays. Making 63 relief appearances in 2014 and another 69 in 2015, he posted a 2.37 and 3.71 ERA, respectively.
In 2016, over the course of his 27 relief appearances, he produced a disappointing 4.81 ERA across a total of 24.1 innings of work. Registering a nearly even 4-3 record as well, Boxberger managed seven holds, three blown saves and 22 strikeouts against 19 walks.
It is also worth noting that the 2016 season marked the first time in which Boxberger did not record a save since his rookie campaign with the Padres back in 2012.