MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in his career, pitcher Brad Boxberger stepped into a clubhouse as a Major League baseball player on Sunday.
The right-hander was called up from Triple-A Tucson by the Padres after Saturday's starter, Andrew Cashner, was optioned to Double-A San Antonio to transition into a permanent starting role. Boxberger pitched for Tucson on Thursday and then was called into manager Terry Kennedy's office.
"Steve Webber was in there, the pitching coach, and he told me that I was coming up here," Boxberger said. "It was just a rush of excitement. There's not really anything I can say to explain exactly how I felt, but it was exciting."
Boxberger made his debut in Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Brewers, throwing a hitless eighth inning with a walk and strikeout.
Drafted by the Reds out of USC in 2009, Boxberger has appeared in 113 Minor League games in three seasons. In December of last year, Boxberger was sent to San Diego as part of the Mat Latos trade. In 23 innings of work with Tucson this season, Boxberger has a 3.87 ERA, allowing 22 hits and striking out 35 batters.
Padres manager Bud Black said he's only seen Boxberger in Spring Training, but he likes the former college All-American's body of work.
"He comes from a solid background as an amateur," Black said. "He's got a good arm, he's got good stuff. Again, there's a big difference between Minor League pitching and Major League pitching, but I think there is a fundamental skill set there that projects to be a Major League reliever."
Black said the Padres' Minor League scouts told him Boxberger has been pitching well the last three weeks, and he hopes that can continue into the big leagues.
Boxberger, who said he's "been looking forward to this my whole life," flew from Tucson to meet the team in Milwaukee on Saturday. Making his first trip to the Majors, he said it's important that he's not intimidated when he gets into the game, whenever that may be.
"It's just about me going out there and doing what I do," he said. "The hitter is the hitter, I just have to go at him and attack him in my way. It doesn't matter who is at the plate, I have to get them out. That's my job."