Like McBride, Boyer was converted to the bullpen after some struggles in the high minors. Boyer started off really well for the big league Braves, but got hurt, another one of those mysterious injuries that always worry me… After giving up a run in his first big league appearance, Boyer went on a tear. From June 13 to July 8, he made twelve appearances without giving up a run. He went on another one in August, when he made thirteen appearances without giving up a run; he eventually stretched that to fifteen. After that, he was clearly laboring. The Braves missed him in the playoffs; Joey Devine probably wouldn’t have been on the roster had Boyer been healthy. He wound up 4-2 with a 3.11 ERA.
Boyer’s overall stats probably aren’t as impressive as McBride’s, though they’re pretty good. He struck out 33 in 38 2/3 innings, walking 17, and gave up only one homer. Normal splits, better at home, better at night, better against righties (.200/.277/.278) than lefties (.298/.404/.362). The tendency to just walk lefthanders may be a little worrisome. Generally a ground ball pitcher, but not as much as some others.
Boyer has the stuff to be a closer, but he has to stay healthy first. After that, he needs to work on his control a little. The pieces are there, and Bobby likes him, so he’s got a good chance.