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Mitchell Boggs hopes for a fresh start in Boston

Good for former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mitchell Boggs, 30, who yesterday signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Boggs has struggled terribly for the past couple of years as Redbirds fans certainly recall. But he's one of my favorite types of player: an ego-free contributor who is willing to do whatever his team asks him to do.

While he's best known as a set-up man, Boggs stepped up not only when St. Louis needed a closer -- but also when the Cardinals were short a starting pitcher.

In 5 1/2 seasons with St. Louis, Boggs started 15 games, finished 67 and had his best year in 2012 when he was 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 78 appearances. He allowed 56 hits in 73 1/3 inning and struck out 58 while walking 21.

But something went terribly wrong in 2013. Boggs couldn't throw strikes and when he did it didn't seem as if there was much on his pitches. He was rocked to the tune of an 11.05 ERA before getting traded to the Colorado Rockies for a change of scenery. Boggs was decent in nine appearances, pitching to a 3.12 ERA. But he couldn't get an extended look in the big leagues and in 2014 he spent the whole season in the minors, going 3-4 with an 8.29 ERA.

Boston is gambling that off-season hernia surgery is the key to straightening out Boggs. The pitcher said the injury has bothered him for a number of years and there is speculation that it may have thrown his mechanics out of whack.