May 3, 2013

Cardinals send Boggs to the minor leagues

The St. Louis Cardinals sent Dalton native Mitchell Boggs to the organization’s Triple-A affiliate on Friday after he struggled through the first month of the 2013 season.

Boggs is a 2002 Dalton High School graduate who was a standout athlete for the Catamounts’ baseball and football programs. He was sent to join the Memphis Redbirds, who began a weekend series with the Omaha Storm Chasers in Nebraska. With Boggs going down, St. Louis called up 21-year-old reliever Carlos Martinez from Double-A Springfield.

Boggs started the season as the Cardinals’ closer due to regular closer Jason Motte’s elbow injury, which is severe enough that he will have season-ending Tommy John surgery next week. In 10 2/3 innings, Boggs allowed 15 earned runs, 17 hits and 12 walks with a 12.66 ERA. He had two saves.

On Thursday, his most recent appearance, he walked both batters he faced in the seventh inning of a 6-5 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I know when you’re fighting,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch when asked about Boggs. “Guys who have fight in them — and Mitchell does — he doesn’t want to be pulled out of the fight. ... He was one pitch away from getting out of the (seventh) inning. Couldn’t finish it off.”

This is the second bullpen move this week for the Cardinals. Marc Rzepczynski was demoted to Triple-A and prospect Seth Maness was called up, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Boggs was sent down to the minor leagues in 2008, 2009 and 2011, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but he continued to make his way back to the majors and was part of the Cardinals’ October run to the 2011 World Series championship. In 51 appearances covering 60 2/3 innings, he had a 3.56 ERA and notched four saves and 48 strikeouts.

In 2012, Boggs set a franchise record for holds, with 34, while working mainly as an eighth-inning relief pitcher en route to a 2.21 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. He also pitched for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.

He signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals in the offseason, getting a bump from last year’s salary of $506,000 to $1,475,000.

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