It was a curious move, to say the least, for the Cardinals to demote Mitchell Boggs to Class AAA Memphis while keeping deposed closer Ryan Franklin in the mix.
While a series of extremely discouraging games caused Franklin to make the fall from the top reliever in the bullpen to mop up man, Boggs seems like he really wasn't given a chance to succeed.
Boggs was put into the closer position after Franklin's meltdown. But while Franklin was allowed to blow four saves in five tries, the plug was pulled on Boggs after just one bad game. I don't know what sort of message that sends to other pitchers trying to fill the closer role. It's a high pressure job already. Why add more to it?
With a record of 0-2 and a 3.66 ERA, Boggs' numbers don't offer hints that he was about to be demoted. He'd only allowed 17 hits in 19 2/3 innings and he had struck out 19 while walking only four.
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Still, it was obvious he was being held out of games lately. In April Boggs pitched in 12 contests. He pitched half that many times in May. He hadn't been used in a week at the time he was sent down.
Ricky Horton said Monday night during the broadcast that he believes the Cardinals want Boggs to go to the minors to work on his mechanics. But he pointed out that such a move can be devastating to a young pitchers' confidence and derail his entire career.
If Dave Duncan is supposed to be the most accomplished pitching coach in baseball, specializing in ironing out mechanical flaws, wouldn't St. Louis be the best place to work out Boggs' bugs?