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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

What should the Cardinals do with Mitchell Boggs?

As St. Louis Cardinals fans saw late Thursday night, reliever Mitchell Boggs took his third blown save of the season and first since his two-week banishment to Memphis earlier this month. His ninth-inning home run allowed to Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur eliminated Michael Wacha’s first St. Louis win.

Since his return from Triple-A, the 29-year-old Boggs has allowed three earned runs, including two long balls in four innings pitched. The right-hander also issued three walks against just one strikeout.

Clearly, Boggs is still not right. The open question is what the Cardinals should do about it. At one end of the spectrum, his market value is at its lowest point and Boggs could come back to haunt St. Louis. On the other hand, can the contending Cardinals afford to do nothing?

Express your opinion below.

What should the Cardinals do with Mitchell Boggs?

  • Return him to Memphis to figure out his problems there. (38%, 186 Votes)
  • Trade him for whatever he can fetch. (23%, 116 Votes)
  • Give up on him and release him. (20%, 98 Votes)
  • Relegate him to mop-up duty until he gets his mojo back. (17%, 85 Votes)
  • Nothing. Let him continue to work out his problems in high-leverage situations. (2%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 495

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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28 Responses to “What should the Cardinals do with Mitchell Boggs?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    A. Stop setting him up to fail by putting him in high leverage situations. Are you listening Matheny?

    B. Seriously, sending him to Memphis will just produce more of the same. Just release him if you are going to do that and end his misery.

    C. You won’t get a bucket of baseballs for him on the trade market. Unless you can con Luhnow into taking him.

    D. Mop up duty is the only way to go if you intend to keep him.

    E. He has been woefully misused from the get go. He may be incurable now.

    • kray66 says:

      Yeah, a one-run game was not a good call. And I’m sure there was even a little more pressure given Wacha’s performance and him being in line for career win #1. I voted for sending him back to Memphis, but mop-up duty was a close second.

      Despite the best record in baseball, we can’t use late innings to help him get back in the saddle in close games and keep throwing them away.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Agree with A, first half of B, C, D, and E.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    I get that Mujica was unavailable. That is going to happen sometimes, though I also understand those second-guessing Matheny for using his closer with three-run leads. Then he was not available to protect a one-run edge.

    My biggest concern was that his second-best reliever, Rosenthal, also could not pitch. One of the broadcasters noted that Rosenthal had either pitched or warmed-up the four previous nights, making him off-limits as well. Why did that happen?

    Since Rosenthal only pitched in games on Sunday and Tuesday, that means Matheny got him up on both Monday and Wednesday, but did not use him either time.

    Rosenthal is already on pace to pitch in 79 games this season. At this week’s rate, he would warm up 158 times! Of course that is unrealistic, but why burn your best setup man throwing in the pen? (That is what once led a frustrated Steve Kline to give TLR a one-fingered salute!)

    Ideally, Matheny would have more than two reliable pen options, but if that is what it is, I think he should deploy them more carefully.

    • crdswmn says:

      Matheny is in his second year of managing. You’d think he would be better at using his bullpen by now.

      I don’t know if it is stubbornness or what, but he keeps doing the same things over and over trying to get a different result. Does insanity run in his family?

      I feel so bad for Boggs. He had such a great year last season and I am puzzled as to what has gone wrong. Maybe he should consider making some changes in how he pitches.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Assuming Boggs is coachable, and I have no reason to believe he is not, there has to be a pitching instructor somewhere in the system who can work with him and perhaps has done so successfully in the past.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    If you don’t let Edward have the 3run lead saves………..his agent is going to let you know…….. Is that possibly why they are pressing Boggs???????? if Edward makes the All Star team……..price is going up…..they looking for leverage for an early offer………… Boggs success has always been a blend of “wild thing” attributes………… that being said, the monster is now in his head………. good luck with that one……

    Right now Boggs is/was important to keeping the 5yr plan stable………thus the risk…… DeWitt can play this position……..Wacha is headed back down anyway………. the got Martinez back down……you won’t see him again till next year………. I’m sure Mo was in on the pregame planning……….. he knows all the “eventualities”……….lets see what they had planned…..can’t believe that they won’t let him be a mop up guy until the market opens………..

    • Brian Walton says:

      I do agree that the monster may be inside Boggs’ head. Also interesting angle on risk of not giving Mujica three-run saves.

      I will take at least two bets, though.

      1) Any five year plan that has a setup man as a central character is a pretty odd plan.
      2) Martinez should be back in 2013.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Central Character?????????? just a pawn on a complex board……but was in play… won’t see him again…….they are planning some sort of package around Kelly…….. Martinez….. Aug 30th or Sept 1st.

        • CariocaCardinal says:

          Is that the same master plan that had us pegged for 3rd place by the end of May?

          Do you think DeWitt/Mo/MM give one iota if Mijuca’s agent gripes about save opportunities? I’ll answer that – you probably do but no one else does.

          Can I have a piece of that action on Martinez? I’d even go as far as to say he’ll be back before Sept 1st.

  4. Brian Walton says:

    Boggs has been optioned out with Keith Butler next to make his MLB debut.

  5. blingboy says:

    Since Boggs has been fired again already I will not dump on him, nor will I threaten his shitty dog.

    I take it Marte is still here.

    Excited to see what Butler’s got.

    When I headed out to work this morning the post game show was on the radio. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t a clip. I salute the fans who stuck it out.

  6. blingboy says:

    495 voters, wow!

  7. blingboy says:

    I am fine with MM’s use of Mujica and Rosenthal, even if it means both are unavailable now and then. Mo has to supply serviceable middle relievers who can step in.

    • CariocaCardinal says:


      Can’t keep the effective one fresh with a 4 man bullpen.

      People need to remember that the reason are late inning guys aren’t fresh is because we have gotten a lot of leads for them to hold.

      Butler has been lights out at AA but he was Boggsish in a short stint in AAA.

  8. blingboy says:

    I’d like to see MM swap Holiday and Craig in the lineup, see what happens

    • blingboy says:

      The reason being that in April Carp got on base 34 times via hit or walk and scored 21 runs.

      In May he got on base 55 times and scored 21 runs.

      So, while Carp has been on fire, the middle of the order has not been taking full advantage.

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    It may be recalled that TLR did not go with Boggs as a closer in 2011. Sent him down to work as a starter to try to get him fixed and to get better feel for breaking balls.
    This worked and Boggs became valuable and went on to have a great 2012 as a setup guy. This success hurt him in 2013, when Matheny tried to make him into something he is not, after Motte went down.
    Fundamentally, Boggs seems not a closer. He probably does not have quite enough control of breaking pitches, which closers need to work into their repertoire. Mujica is throwing a splitter and mowing folks down easily.

  10. JumboShrimp says:

    Its been a strange season already. A near wipe out of veteran relievers. Motte, gone for the season. Rzep sent to the minors to find more motivation. Boggs turned into a nut case. Salas on the DL
    They probably should have used Marte last night, to begin the 9th. He had been closing ok at AAA. A clean slate might have helped him.
    They keep Kelly around in the majors, but are afraid to use him. He ought to be sent down to get regular work.
    Somebody who could hold his own in the majors may be Siegrist.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Yeah, I don’t see the point in having Kelly hang around amidst all of the other chaos.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        If they wont use Kelly regularly in the majors, then his pathway to improving is to get back to starting for Memphis.

        The Cards have enough pieces, thats the good news. They can bring up Siegrist when-ever they choose and he will give them 5 reliable relievers. Kelly can go down then, to get stretched out and collect work. This will give us two AAA backup starting pitchers, Martinez and Kelly.

        Then we have Marte. He will get hit a bit, but there are lots of ho hum relievers in the majors, so he can be one for us. The 7th guy is now Butler, who is not ready yet. He’s an extra arm to be used in the event of a blowout.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I do not see Kelly’s future in the rotation.

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