All systems go for Boxberger after 22-pitch outing

Rays closer to begin rehab assignment soon, eyes late-May return to Majors

All systems go for Boxberger after 22-pitch outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays manager Kevin Cash gave a positive report after reliever Brad Boxberger threw 22 pitches in an extended spring training game Thursday in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Speaking Friday from Tropicana Field, Cash said Boxberger (adductor surgery) had confidence-building takeaways after the brief appearance. Boxberger allowed two hits, one walk and he struck out two.

"Everything was really good," Cash said. "Used all of his pitches. … He came back in feeling really good. Right now, it's not very result-oriented. It's much more just getting through the inning and going through the rehab process. He came in feeling really good today, so that's the best news."

Boxberger, who underwent the surgery in March, will make his first official rehab start on Sunday at 12:35 p.m. with Class A Advanced Charlotte, Cash said after the Rays' 6-3 loss to the A's on Friday. The Rays are hoping Boxberger will return by late May, and Cash said he will be Tampa Bay's closer upon his activation, despite Alex Colome going 9-for-9 on save opportunities this season.

Last season, Boxberger had a 3.71 ERA with an American League-high 41 saves.

Worth noting

• The Rays traded right-handed reliever Jhan Marinez to the Brewers for cash considerations Thursday night. Marinez, who allowed one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings this season, was designated for assignment after a victory over the Angels last Saturday.

Andrew Astleford is a contributor to based in Tampa. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.