May 20, 2013

Boggs: 'I know I can help this team'

By R.B. Fallstrom
The Associated Press

— ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals will promote rookie lefty Tyler Lyons from the minors to make his major league debut in place of injured Jaime Garcia on Wednesday.

Down two starters for the time being, they’ve also plugged Mitchell Boggs back into the bullpen mix.

“Throw him in there when we can,” manager Mike Matheny said before Sunday’s game against the Brewers. “He knew what he needed to do. He knew what he was not doing, and what he was capable of doing.”

The 29-year-old Boggs arrived in time for Sunday’s game against the Brewers looking for a fresh start. He was one of the top setup men in the majors last season and began the year as stand-in closer, but was demoted May 3 after going 0-2 with a 12.66 ERA and 12 walks in 10 2-3 innings.

“I feel like I took advantage of the situation and I almost feel like my season’s starting today,” Boggs said. “I’m going to take that mentality. I know I can help this team.”

The Cardinals officially placed Garcia on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain retroactive to Saturday. Matheny said the timetable was uncertain for Garcia, who was on the DL for two months last year with a similar injury.

Matheny knew Garcia had been sore, but “I just didn’t realize it was getting to the point where it was.” He hadn’t noticed Garcia, who gave up two three-run home runs to the Brewers’ Aramis Ramirez on Friday, making mechanical changes.

Another injured starter, Jake Westbrook, threw 25 pitches from 60 feet and is expected to miss at least one more start recovering from elbow inflammation. The Cardinals can avoid one of those holes with a day off Thursday.

The 25-year-old Lyons was a ninth-round draft pick in 2010 out of Oklahoma State. He was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts for Triple-A Memphis. Prize pitching prospect Michael Wacha has been much more impressive, going 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA.

“We talked about everything,” Matheny said. “Lyons is the right guy right now.”

Matheny said one of the deciding factors was that Lyons’ day to pitch is Wednesday. Several relievers who started in the minors were not under consideration because they haven’t been extended, with right-hander Seth Maness the best candidate going forward.

Boggs opened with five consecutive scoreless appearances in the minors but is coming off an awful outing. He walked three and allowed three runs in 1-3 of an inning Friday at Tacoma.

“It was my sixth game and I had five really good ones before that,” Boggs said. “I know folks don’t want to talk about those five as much as they want to talk about one bad outing, but I know how hard I worked and I’m looking forward to showing it.”