San Diego Padres promote reliever Brad Boxberger
According to Arizona Daily Star reporter Daniel Berk via Twitter, the Padres are called up reliever Brad Boxberger. He reported that triple-A Tucson Pitching coach Steve Webber gave him the good news.
With Boxberger’s contract being purchased, that means every player the Padres received in the Mat Latos deal is made it to the 25-man roster this year.
So who is Brad Boxberger and what does he showcase?
Boxberger, 24, is a 6′-2″, 200-pound, right-handed, three-pitch pitcher. His fastball sits comfortably between 91-92 mph, and can touch 95 mph with good action to either side of the plate. He has two secondary pitches, a curveball and a circle change-up. His change-up has tailing action working in to right-handed hitters. His curvball can get slurvy and flatten out, partly due to his inconsistent arm slot. Boxberger was the Reds best reliever prospect and has very good promise as a potential closer in the near future. He can be erratic and has lacked consistency working off his secondary pitches. While he has struggled with command and consistency, he does have closer mound presence and is still only 24.
In two seasons with the Reds organization, the right-hander had a combined 3.75 ERA in 153.2 IP with 70 BB (4.1 BB/9) and 203 K (11.9 SO/9). Last year, he dominated with a 2.03 ERA between double-A and triple-A with a 13.5 strikeout per 9 innings pitched ratio with 93 Ks in 62 IP.
This year with Tucson, he has gone 1-2, with a 4.70 ERA in the notorious hitter-friendly PCL League. In 22 games and 22 innings pitched, he has allowed 15 walks, but with 35 strikeouts. Well over a strikeout per inning. So, suffice it to say, the command has been troublesome this year. He has allowed almost exactly a hit per inning pitched (22) with opponents batting .253 off the right-hander.
With Andrew Cashner transitioning to the starting rotation and being stretched out – which could call for a brief stint to the minors after his start against the Brewers Saturday – this is a shot to get a closer look at a promising Padres prospect and filling a hole, possibly temporarily.