Cheap Seats

Mitchell Boggs and Chris Carpenter

Before he left the game Tuesday with a back injury, Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs was pitching the lights out.

In addition to his expected blazing fastball, he was mixing in a sharp curveball. The breaking pitch and his 98 MPH heat combine to give Boggs an arsenal -- and effectiveness -- comparable to vintage Jason Isringhausen. And that could be a really big deal for the future of the Cardinals.

When Izzy was in town, the Cardinals invested a lot of money in a closer. Ryan Franklin currently fills the spot on the last season of a two-year, $6.5-million deal. If the Redbirds were to try to keep him, he'd probably want a raise. And if the club needs to go outside of the organization to find a closer it will probably cost even more.

It would be a tremendous help if Boggs or fellow in-house candidate Jason Motte can fill the closer role if the Cardinals are going to be able to afford to re-sign Albert Pujols, potentially freeing up several million bucks.

Of course the other thing the Redbirds need to do to reprioritize their spending is successfully develop a starting pitcher to fill the fifth spot in the rotation currently manned by Kyle Lohse. I don't care if it's Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn or someone else, saving Lohse's $11.75 million will be huge.

Boggs and fellow Cardinals hurler Chris Carpenter aren't supposed to have significant setbacks following their being forced to leave Tuesday's game against the Marlins with injuries.

Boggs has a lower back strain while Carp strained his left hamstring. Both are expected to still be ready by opening day.