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Boxing in the competition

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Killer cacti.
Killer cacti.

Bradley Boxberger has 3 GFs out in Arizona, which I'm being told means "games finished." That makes more sense, as I hadn't seen his named splashed across the pages of Gawker: AFL. He's been dominant in 3.1 innings so far, recording 8 of his 10 outs by K and giving up just one hit and two walks.

It's hard to say what effect, if any, a good AFL campaign has in the minds of a team's brass. But pitching well in an offense-friendly environment can only be a good sign. And a good showing for the Desert Dogs can keep Boxberger in the front office's front of mind while most everyone else heading to MLB camp next spring is lying dormant. John Fay thinks Boxy may be the true rookie with the best chance to break camp in 2012. I think that's a more than reasonable assessment, though Boxberger might not have an opening without an injury or trade.

If the Reds succeed in re-signing Cordero, you could probably write the following names in 'pen:

Francisco Cordero

Bill Bray

Jose Arredondo

Logan Ondrusek

Nick Masset

Sam LeCure

That leaves just one spot, opened up by Chapman's departure. The Reds have almost always run with two lefties in recent history, though Jose Arredondo has good splits against left-handed batters. As a righty, Boxberger is far from a slam-dunk, especially with only 27.2 IP above AA. But this picture could change quite a bit over the offseason. And Boxberger can help his case by pitching well in Arizona during October and March.