Joseph Thomas Borowski (born May 4, 1971 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is a sports broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. He played for the Baltimore Orioles (1995), Atlanta Braves (1996-1997), New York Yankees (1997–1998), Chicago Cubs (2001–2005), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2005), Florida Marlins (2006), and Cleveland Indians (2007-2008).
High school career
Borowski grew up in Bayonne, attended Marist High School and was an All-America selection in both football and baseball and a two-time All-State selection in both sports. He attended Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Major League Baseball career
Before his second year with the Chicago Cubs in 2002, Borowski had never appeared in more than 25 games, but when given a chance to appear frequently he did very well. Between his stints with the Yankees and Cubs, he worked as a fireman. In 2002, he went 4-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 73 games of relief. The next year, he was converted to the closer role for the Cubs and was exceptional, going 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA and recording 33 saves in 37 opportunities, helping the Cubs win their division and reach the NLCS before being eliminated by the eventual World Series champion Florida Marlins. In 2004, Borowski suffered from a partial tear in his right rotator cuff which limited him to just 22 games, in which he struggled, going 2-4 with an 8.02 ERA and recording 9 saves in 11 opportunities. In 2005, Borowski broke his hand on a come-backer that went directly at him. He returned to the Cubs on May 20. He did not have his old closer job back, though, as Ryan Dempster had emerged as the club's new closer. On June 29, 2005, Borowski was released by the Cubs.
Borowski was later in 2005 acquired by the Devil Rays, who use him as a set-up man to closer Danys Báez. While with the Devil Rays, Borowski got very hot, pitching a franchise record 21 scoreless innings, and is seen by many as the catalyst for the Devil Rays 2nd half turnaround, as his inspired performance helped stabilize the Rays' otherwise shaky bullpen. However, in his last 14 appearances he gave up 15 runs, and was designated for assignment by the Devil Rays in early December, and then released.
During the 2006 season, Borowski pitched for the Florida Marlins and converted 36 out of 43 save opportunities. On December 6, 2006, Borowski signed a $4.25 million, one-year contract to pitch for the Cleveland Indians that included a club option for 2008. The signing of Borowski filled the vacant closer role for Cleveland.
During the 2007 season, Borowski got off to a slow start as closer for the Indians, posting an earned run average of 13.50 in his first seven outings. His struggles were capped off after surrendering six runs to the New York Yankees on April 19, 2007, in the ninth inning after coming into the game with a 4-run lead. Borowski was not charged with a blown save in this outing, since a 3-run lead or smaller is required for a pitcher to earn the save. However, he still managed to put together a good season, leading the American League with 45 saves even though he had an ERA of 5.07. Borowski was the first closer to lead a league in saves with an ERA over 5.00.
On November 6, 2007, the Indians exercised his $4 million club option, opting to bring him back in 2008. Had the team declined Borowski's option, he would have been paid a $250,000 buyout.
In 2008, Borowski got off to a bad start to the season. Putting up an 18.00 ERA with two blown saves through 5 appearances, he averaged a walk, 2 hits, and 2 runs per appearance. Following another dreadful appearance in which he gave up 3 runs in 2/3 inning on April 14 the Indians put him on the 15-day DL with a strained triceps.
Borowski was designated for assignment by the Indians on July 4, and released on July 10, 2008.
On February 24, 2009 Borowski retired.
Borowski currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife Tatum and two sons, Blaze and Ty.
- List of Major League Baseball saves champions
- List of Major League Baseball all-time saves leaders
- Cleveland Indians: Media Guide 2007 (PDF), MLB Advanced Media, p. 93. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
- Sortable Stats: Pitching. Yahoo Sports. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
- Withers, Tom (2007-11-06). Indians pick up club option on Paul Byrd. USAToday.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.
- Verified by espn.com
- Borowski designated for assignment | indians.com: News
- Joe Borowski, former Cleveland Indians closer, says he's retired
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|American League Saves Champion