Boesch hopes to stand out amid Reds’ crowded outfield

AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
February 27, 2015

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Reds have a crowded outfield situation on their hands, and whittling down the backups won’t be an easy task for manager Bryan Price.

Newly acquired Brennan Boesch is hoping to make Price’s decision especially tough this spring — though Boesch wouldn’t go so far as to call the outfield battle a “competition.”

“I only care about the competition against the pitcher, and that’s really as basic as I keep it,” said Boesch, who signed a Minor League deal with Cincinnati in November. “You aren’t competing against other players. We’re all on the same side here. We’re all wearing Red jerseys. Let the chips fall where they may.”

With the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate last season, Boesch tore apart Minor League pitching to the tune of a .332 average and 25 homers…

Boesch’s best season came in 2011, when he hit .283 with a .799 OPS. But he has since struggled with injuries. After the ’11 season, Boesch had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right hand, and in ’13, he battled oblique trouble and was released by both the Tigers and Yankees.

“I learned a lot, I had a lot of adversity,” Boesch said. “Everyone goes through adversity. The biggest thing would be just trying to hit a high daily standard, and knowing that what I have is enough.”

Price said Boesch will man all three outfield spots, as well as first base this spring — a position he has never played professionally. As far as where Boesch fits on the roster, Price noted “he certainly can help us,” possibly as a lefty-hitting power threat off the bench.

“We already know he’s a terrific player,” Price said. “He kind of got banged up and lost his way a little bit, but I think he feels — and we feel — that he’s back on top of his game, and maybe his best days are ahead of him.”