July 28, 2013

Boggs is moving around

Mitchell Boggs’ third stint in the Major Leagues this season was better than his first two.

But it still ended with a trip back down to the minors Saturday.

The 2002 Dalton High School graduate was called up July 20 by the Colorado Rockies and made two relief appearances last week — July 20 versus the Chicago Cubs and Thursday’s loss to the Miami Marlins.

In a 9-3 win versus the Cubs, Boggs pitched one scoreless inning, despite throwing 24 pitches and allowing one walk and one hit. In the 5-3 loss to Florida, Boggs pitched 2/3 of an inning, facing two batters and needing just five pitches to get both to ground out.

His ERA fell to 9.92, an improvement over where his ERA was when he was traded by St. Louis to Colorado earlier this year.

But despite the encouraging outings, Boggs was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room for starting pitcher Collin McHugh on Saturday.

Boggs received a roster spot with the Rockies after relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt had his appendix removed.

Betancourt will be sidelined two to three weeks since the surgery, which took place July 19.

“The question for me wasn’t whether I was good enough or capable. It was, ‘Am I going to do whatever it takes to get back to being there?’” Boggs said in an interview with the Denver Post earlier this week. “And I wanted to. That’s where I’m at now. That’s the challenge, and that’s what I’m working on every single day.”

Boggs, 29, started his career with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2008, and was part of the 2011 World Series squad.

He found success as a setup man through the 2012 season with a 4-1 record, 2.21 ERA and MLB-leading 34 holds. But he had faced ups and downs earlier this season in St. Louis as a fill-in after closer Jason Motte suffered a season-ending injury. With an 0-3 record with a pair of saves and an ERA of 11.05, he was sent down to Triple-A Memphis twice after struggling as the Cardinals’ closer.

His last appearance with St. Louis was May 30 versus the Kansas City Royals when he faced two batters and allowed one hit, one walk and two runs — one earned.

He was traded to the Rockies on July 9 and was assigned to Double-A Tulsa, where he pitched six innings in four appearances and allowed just one run with a 1.50 ERA.

Colorado was 50-54 entering Saturday’s road matchup versus the Milwaukee Brewers, but very much alive in the NL West, where the Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place and just five games ahead of Boggs’ new team.

“We’ll figure out where he fits in as we go along,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss told the Post. “He’s (got) a power arm with good ‘sink’ and a good, hard slider.”

Boggs was a standout athlete on the football field and baseball diamond for the Dalton Catamounts and later played for the University of Georgia. Attempts on Saturday to contact Boggs by The Daily Citizen were unsuccessful.

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