Cincinnati Reds: Brad Boxberger offers mixed bag in first game back

Brad Boxberger, who was recently signed to a minor league contract by the Cincinnati Reds, saw his first action with the team’s Triple-A affiliate last night.

Brad Boxberger, drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2009, was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2011 and has bounced around the league ever since. Boxberger was recently signed to minor-league deal by the Reds and offered a mixed bag in last night’s debut performance for the Louisville Bats.

Boxberger was taken with the 43rd overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. The right-hander began is minor league career with the Lynchburg Hillcats, going 4-6 with a 3.19 ERA. Boxberger took the long road through the Reds minor leaguer system and made it all the way to Triple-A Louisville in 2011.

However, the Reds traded Boxberger, along with Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, and Yasmani Grandal to the San Diego Padres for starting pitcher Mat Latos. Latos was solid in his first two seasons in Cincinnati, going 28-11 with a 3.32 ERA. Latos was a big part of the 2012 Reds team that won the NL Central Championship.

Latos was eventually traded to the Miami Marlins for now-starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach, who played just six games for the Reds. Boxberger, on the other hand, has bounced around the major leagues, playing for the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, and most recently, the Kansas City Royals.

Boxberger signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals on July 12th, but never made an appearance with the big league club and was released on August 4th. The Reds swooped in a signed the former first-round pick the following day and Boxberger was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

Last night, Boxberger made his season debut for the Louisville Bats against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Boxberger replaced Matt Bowman in the fourth inning with two on and two outs. Boxberger was called upon to intentionally walk Malquan Canelo before getting the strikeout of former Cincinnati Reds starter Dan Straily.

Boxberger begin the fifth inning and promptly walked former Reds infielder Phil Gosselin. The right-hander followed that up with another walk to outfielder Nick Willams. Boxberger struck out the next batter and got a fly out advanced the runners, but recorded the second out of the inning. After issuing his third walk of the inning to load the bases, Boxberger struck out Austin Listi to end the inning.

Obviously, the Cincinnati Reds signed Brad Boxberger in an attempt to add some much needed depth to their bullpen. What was once the strength of this Reds team now appears to be its biggest weakness as the team enters he second week of August. However, issuing three walks isn’t the best way to get yourself noticed.

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The Reds also have Tim Collins sitting at Triple-A Louisville. The left-hander could be called upon in short order once Amir Garrett‘s suspension is announced. Garrett is currently appealing an eight-game ban following the dustup with the Pittsburgh Pirates from July 30th. Collins, in just two appearances for Triple-A Louisville, has allowed two hits in 1.2 innings with a strikeout.

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