John Fay thinks Brad Boxberger’s MLB ETA may be Opening Day 2011:

But Boxberger is probably the player with no big-league experience who has the best chance to make the Reds out of spring training.

We’re basing that on three things: (1) The Reds are going to need bullpen help; (2) Boxberger has top-shelf stuff; and (3) and he took a big step from 2010 to 2011.

Boxberger, a 23-year-old right-hander, went 2-4 with a 2.03 ERA while splitting time pretty evenly between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville. In 62 innings, he allowed 32 hits, walked 28 and struck out 93.

No question Boxberger has great stuff. Remember, he was selected as a supplemental first round pick in 2009, the same year Cincinnati took Mike Leake. He throws hard, and he’s been throwing even harder since being switched to the bullpen.

Boxberger is out in Arizona, playing in the Arizona Fall League. His debut was pretty good: 18 pitches, 14 strikes, struck out all four hitters he faced, and picked up the save.

He’d look pretty good in the RHP bullpen spot that has been filled by the Carlos Fishers and Jordan Smiths of the world.

10 Responses

  1. Ethan D

    Yet another reason not to extend Cordero

  2. preach

    “He’d look pretty good in the RHP bullpen spot that has been filled by the Carlos Fishers and Jordan Smiths of the world.”

    I was thinking the same thing.

  3. Dave Lowenthal

    @Ethan D: I don’t want Cordero, but I have to admit that Jocketty’s statement that Boxberger needs more AAA time is one that really can’t be refuted. If the team thinks he needs more time there, I would say give it to him. I’d rather that than he be rushed.

    Instead, why not just patch up the pen for the first couple of months until the guy is ready, if they really think he’ll be ready to close by the early summer?

  4. icee82

    I have seen this kid in Zebulon and he has “electric” stuff. However I think we are going to find out that he is a Homer Bailey type player. Based on observation, I think that he needs some work “between the ears”. He is very egotistical and you have to wonder just how receptive he is to constructive feedback from the coaching staff. That may be this guy’s biggest issue to get past.

  5. CP

    @icee82: How could you tell he is very egotistical from mere observation?

  6. OhioJim

    Of the right handers in the Reds pen at the end of the year, only LeCure should be back as anything other than a stop gap filler.

  7. pinson343

    I’ve been following Boxberger closely and hopefully. I think the Reds ought to go with a stopgap closer for next year, using one of their surplus starters or whoever. I could see Boxberger coming up in mid-season as a setup man in 2012 and taking over the closer role in 2013.

    I wouldn’t worry about his having a big ego, if that’s true. That’s part of the “closer mentality”.

  8. pinson343

    Sam LeCure had great numbers as a reliever in 2011: .189/.259/.323. I’d be OK with him getting a shot at closer for 2012.

  9. dc937


    I like this idea too. He looked real good this season, and he’s also got the facial hair to compete with the likes of other closers (SF’s Brian Wilson). Maybe stick Boxberger in the 8th inning role that Masset botched for most of this season?

  10. pinson343

    @dc937: Yep. I’d like to see Boxberger take over the 8th inning as soon as he’s ready to come up to the Reds. And then close in 2013. No no to CoCo !