Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 2/7/13
If you are a casual baseball fan, you probably haven’t heard of Brad Boxberger. If you are a casual baseball fan, though, you probably aren’t hanging out at FanGraphs, clicking on posts about Brad Boxberger. Boxberger is a player of some interest and mild fame. He was, in 2009, drafted 43rd overall by the Cincinnati Reds. He was, in 2011, traded to the San Diego Padres as part of the package for Mat Latos. He did, in 2012, make his major-league debut, working out of the San Diego bullpen. Over 24 appearances, Boxberger yielded just eight earned runs. Things could’ve gone worse for Brad Boxberger. As this was Boxberger’s debut major-league season, he experienced a lot of firsts. He threw his first pitch on June 10, to Rickie Weeks. It was a strike. Weeks subsequently drew what would be Boxberger’s first major-league walk. Boxberger’s first major-league strikeout was next, a swinging strikeout of Martin Maldonado. On June 20, Boxberger allowed his first major-league run. On August 12, Boxberger yielded his first major-league dinger. On September 5, Boxberger recorded his first major-league hold. Boxberger didn’t get all of his firsts out of the way, however. At no point did he record his first major-league win. At no point was he tagged with his first major-league loss. He has yet to commit his first major-league balk. And — well, there’s something else. A very simple defensive statistic is “Chances”. It’s the denominator in fielding percentage, and it’s the sum of putouts plus assists plus errors. It’s intended as an approximation of opportunities, and while it’s antiquated and while we don’t often look at it, there’s a reason I’m bringing it up in this instance. Below please find a complete log of Brad Boxberger’s defensive chances as a major-league pitcher in 2012. There are three of them. June 15 What a great pickoff move by Brad Boxberger! In just his second big-league appearance, Boxberger caught Collin Cowgill trying to steal second base. Boxberger had plenty of time to throw Cowgill out. But what he actually did was throw behind Everth Cabrera, allowing Cowgill to advance safely and allowing another runner to score. Boxberger was charged with his first major-league error. You know the old story about pitchers throwing to any base but home. Boxberger did everything right until the throwing part. June 25 Here we have Boxberger’s fifth major-league appearance. An opportunity existed for him to pick off Brian Bixler. Instead, he threw wildly to first, and Bixler advanced to second. On the next pitch, Bixler would score on a double. Boxberger was charged with his second major-league error. Though the throw could’ve been caught by Jesus Guzman, it obviously wasn’t, and it was bad enough that Boxberger was held 100% responsible. Errors are like arbitration — they either go to one guy or another guy. They can’t be split. September 22 What a great pickoff move by Brad Boxberger! He had Angel Pagan leaning, and with an accurate throw, he had Angel Pagan out. What he didn’t uncork was an accurate throw — what he uncorked instead was an inaccurate throw, and Pagan went to second, and another runner scored. Once again, Boxberger’s pickoff move got him an easy out he failed to actually record. Boxberger was charged with his third major-league error. It sure looks like the throw could’ve and should’ve been caught by Yonder Alonso. The Padres’ broadcasters expressed disbelief when Boxberger was charged, and Mark Grant expected the scorer to change his decision later on. The decision stands to this day — the error was Boxberger’s. Rightly or wrongly. It seems unfair, but it is what it is, and it’s not like the throw was perfect. I’m not here to discuss the fairness of scorer decisions. I’m here to discuss defensive chances. Brad Boxberger, as a major leaguer in 2012, recorded three total defensive chances. He was charged with three total defensive errors, all on throws to bases on pickoff attempts. He’s yet to record his first major-league putout, and he’s yet to record his first major-league assist. It’s true that he threw accurately to home plenty of times. It’s probably true that he threw accurately to bases on unsuccessful pickoff attempts. But chances are putouts plus assists plus errors, and at present, Boxberger is 0-for-3. This is unsightly. One day, probably, Boxberger will register a putout or an assist. That’ll be a first, and it’ll be something to celebrate, modestly. For now, Boxberger is tied for the lowest career fielding percentage in modern baseball history. And among those players with fielding percentages of .000, Boxberger stands alone with the most defensive chances. Maybe some of it’s the scorer’s fault. Maybe some of it’s Alonso’s fault. But it’s Boxberger who’s got the statistical record. May his big-league career not be over; may there be a play made on the horizon. May Boxberger keep that ball for the rest of his life.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George won't commit to Pacers following sweep

Report: Thunder fan Beverley squabbled with is owner's son

NFL Draft prospect charged with knocking woman out

Report: At least four teams looking to trade out of top 10

Bill Parcells on Tony Romo: ‘I was glad he retired’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Garoppolo remains 'long shot' to be traded

Report: Packers coaches upset with GM Ted Thompson

Rondo fined $25K for attempting to trip Crowder

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker