Brad Boxberger came to the Padres this offseason in the trade that sent Mat Latos to the Reds. Drafted in the first round (43rd overall) of the 2009 MLB Draft out of USC, Boxberger split time in 2010 as a starter and reliever before making the full time conversion this season to the bullpen. You can also follow him on Twitter.
2011 was your first season as a full time reliever. Do you feel like you are fully used to your new role? How has your daily routine changed?
I feel like I became really comfortable in my role as a reliever towards the end of the 2010 season. Entering the 2011 season, I felt as though I had found a routine that worked for me to be prepared to throw every day. The big change in my routine from starter to reliever was mainly mental.
It took me some time to get used to having to be ready every day instead of every fifth. During the 2011 spring training it clicked for me that I have to stay focused during every game and be ready to go in. The Arizona Fall League was a great opportunity to work on this even more.* I definitely have found my confidence in this role.
How would you describe yourself as a pitcher?
I am not a guy who shows a lot of emotion on the mound. Even in high stress situations, I try to stay calm and focused. I had a pitching coach once tell me that I am at my best when I don’t try too hard.
What’s your favorite aspect of pitching?
I would have to say my favorite part is getting a good hitter out in a key situation that changes the game. The adrenaline rush in those moments keeps me coming back for more.
As a Southern California native are you excited to get a chance to play closer to home?
I am very excited to get a chance to play closer to home. Being able to have friends and family closer and able to come out to games makes playing the game that much more fun.
*Note: Scouts and stats agree, Boxberger looked fantastic in AFL action (22 Ks in 13.1 IP) causing many to believe he could pitch immediately in an MLB bullpen.
Thanks again to Brad for chatting with us. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.