Boxberger ready to resume closing duties

Right-hander led AL with 41 saves in 2015

Boxberger ready to resume closing duties

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brad Boxberger's second year with the Rays brought big results in 2015.

With incumbent closer Jake McGee sidelined for much of the season, Boxberger established himself as the Rays' closer and led the American League in saves.

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Thus far in Kevin Cash's tenure as Rays manager, he has not been inclined to dish out defined bullpen roles. However, he has allowed that Boxberger will be the team's closer this season.

"Going into last year, I didn't really know what my role was going to be or how it was going to pan out with everybody there," Boxberger said. "But going into this year, I'm just taking the momentum I had last year and the success I had and try and build off of it. ... I had some ups and downs."

Included in Boxberger's ups were his 41 saves and making the All-Star Game.

"With what kind of went down last year and being able to keep that momentum and go into this year and fine-tune some stuff, and take some experience from last year and put it into this year, is definitely going to help me out," he said.

And the downs? Six blown saves.

"I want to work on that and build on my experience pitching in the ninth inning for this year," Boxberger said. "I think one thing I want to improve on is just overall consistency -- keeping games where they are and definitely cutting down on the walks."

Boxberger said he is ready for the season. He does plan to throw less during Spring Training to "just be able to get through it healthy and be ready to go for April."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.