March 26, 2013

Cardinals will turn to Boggs in ninth inning

From Staff Reports

— During the 2012 season, St. Louis Cardinals reliever and Dalton native Mitchell Boggs established himself as one of the top setup men in the majors.

This year — at least for part of the season — the Dalton High School graduate could close games for the Cardinals. Incumbent closer Jason Motte suffered a strained elbow last week in spring training, giving Boggs the opportunity for ninth-inning duties. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told The St. Louis Dispatch that shifting Boggs to the closer’s role is the “the natural movement.”

This past season Boggs set a franchise record for holds (34) as mainly an eighth-inning relief pitcher en route to a 2.21 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. He pitched for Team USA in this month’s World Baseball Classic.

“We’re obviously going to miss Jason. For however long he’s out we’re going to miss him for that entire time,” Boggs told The St. Louis Dispatch. “We’ve got a bullpen that has the firepower capable of being as good as anybody’s. And without him, that bullpen is still really, really good. We’ve got a lot of arms down there that are talented and very good at what they do.”