Notes: 'It's the right time' to add Boxberger

April 6th, 2021

Trading Orlando Arcia to Atlanta gave the Brewers an opportunity to rebalance their active roster, so they purchased the contract of former Rays and D-backs closer and added him to a club with 13 pitchers and 13 position players for Tuesday’s game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

“I think it’s the right time to do it,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “We’re trying to be somewhat cautious early in the season with our usage. Sometimes that’s unavoidable. I know we’re going to get into games where we’ll have back-to-backs, three games out of four, and even three days in a row, but while we can be cautious early in the season, we’d like to do so.”

Boxberger was dependable for the Marlins during the shortened 2020 season, with a 3.00 ERA in 23 games. Twice in his career he has been a club’s primary closer; Boxberger was an All-Star in 2015 and led the American League with 41 saves for Tampa Bay, and he logged 32 saves in ‘18 for Arizona.

Boxberger was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, and he was briefly released and then re-signed by the Brewers at the end of March as a mechanism to keep him in the organization but not on the active roster for Opening Day.

“I was definitely contemplating other options that I had at that point,” Boxberger said. “But in Spring Training, I liked the group of guys here, I liked the coaches, I liked the front office and how stuff was run here. So I wanted to give a second go at it after not making the team out of camp. If I wasn’t one of the first up, I would have had an option later on to figure that out. Thankfully, it worked out this way.”

Boxberger last pitched Friday in a simulated game at Miller Park with the rest of the Brewers’ alternate training site group (the Appleton camp does not open until next week). His last time pitching against an opponent was March 29, when he logged the last three of 10 consecutive strikeouts for Brewers relievers -- a streak that began with Angel Perdomo, Devin Williams and Josh Hader. It capped an exhibition season in which Boxberger said he focused on upping his cutter usage.

To clear space on a suddenly full 40-man roster, the Brewers shifted reliever Justin Topa (elbow) to the 60-day injured list. The Brewers also added the two pitchers they received from the Braves for Arcia, Chad Sobotka and Patrick Weigel, to the 40-man roster.

All-Star Game to Denver

Brewers fans’ hopes of a hometown All-Star Game were dashed Tuesday when Major League Baseball awarded the relocated 2021 event to Denver.

In a statement announcing the Colorado Rockies would host, the league said, “MLB chose the Rockies because they were already in the bidding process to host a future All-Star Game. The Rockies had supplied a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security that took months to assemble, and MLB staff had already made several site visits to Denver. In addition, Governor Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock have both committed to provide the necessary facilities and services needed to support this year’s festivities.”

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett made his pitch after MLB announced its intention to move the event, citing the league’s plan to honor the late Hall of Famer Hank Aaron at this year’s Midsummer Classic.

"As you review alternative sites for the game, I ask you to consider Milwaukee,” Barrett wrote in a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “It is a particularly appropriate location to honor Hank Aaron, who is a revered and beloved former Milwaukeean. He started and concluded his Major League career with teams here. The city of Milwaukee would be honored to host the All-Star Game, and you would have the full support of my office to make the festivities a success.”

Milwaukee has hosted three All-Star Games, including in 1955 and 1975 at the front and back ends of Aaron’s remarkable 21-year run making the event. The city hosted again in 2002 at Miller Park, now American Family Field.

Last call

• Lorenzo Cain didn’t start a third straight game because he has been dealing with a mild oblique issue, according to manager Craig Counsell, who didn’t specify which side of Cain’s rib cage was sore. Cain was available off the bench Tuesday, but the Brewers opted to continue protecting him against a bona fide injury, according to Counsell.

• Brandon Woodruff’s goal in start No. 2 this season: Establish his fastball on both sides of the plate. He said he wasn’t happy with his execution of that during his four-inning outing against the Twins on Opening Day.

• After a few weeks of selling tickets in pods of two, four and six seats, the Brewers say they found that two-person groups were the most popular, and so they have reorganized some of the seating at American Family Field in a way that increased the number of tickets available as of Tuesday morning. The club is still only selling individual tickets through May 2 at 25 percent capacity via, hoping to gain approval for additional capacity at subsequent home games.