Koch given the hook by Marlins

The Florida Marlins released reliever Billy Koch on Tuesday, while catcher Ramon Castro opted for free agency.

Koch, 29, went 1-2 for Florida with a 3.51 earned-run average in 23 appearances after being acquired June 17 from the Chicago White Sox for minor-league infielder Wilson Valdez.

The right-hander finished the season with a 2-3 record, a 4.40 ERA and eight saves in 47 appearances, but struggled to regain the form which saw him save a career-high 44 games for Oakland in 2001.

Although he struck out 25 batters in 25 2/3 innings, he also walked 20.

Koch also missed the final month of the season – he was excused to tend to family matters – despite earning a hefty $6.38 million US.

Koch is 31-28 lifetime with a 3.94 ERA and 171 saves in 427 relief appearances over a half-dozen MLB seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Athletics, White Sox and Marlins.

with files from Sports Network