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July 2, 2014

Boggs released by Triple-A club

Mitchell Boggs’ professional baseball career is hanging in the balance again.

The former Dalton High School and University of Georgia pitcher was released Tuesday by the Charlotte (N.C.) Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

According to the Twitter account of Comcast Sports Net Chicago’s Dan Hayes, the 30-year-old right-handed reliever was released to make room on the roster for Henry Rodriguez, who has pitched for four Major League Baseball teams — most recently the Miami Marlins — and has been playing for the White Sox’s rookie league affiliate in Arizona.

Messages left on Boggs’ cellphone Tuesday evening were not immediately returned.

Boggs signed a $1.1 million deal with the White Sox shortly before spring training this year, but he was cut by the MLB club on March 23 after posting a 12.79 ERA in seven relief appearances in Arizona. However, he signed a minor league deal with the club just a week later and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.

He went to North Carolina with hopes of being able to regain the form that made him one of the National League’s top relievers with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2010 to 2012. He was the club’s top setup man in 2012 — he made 78 appearances with a 4-1 record, 2.21 ERA and led the National League with 34 holds — and even began the 2013 season in the closer’s role with Jason Motte out due to injury.

Boggs won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011. In 2013, he was on the 27-player U.S. roster for the third World Baseball Classic, an international tournament created by MLB and the International Baseball Federation.

However, Boggs had a 2-3 record and a 9.50 ERA in 36 innings of work with Charlotte this year. He allowed 64 hits, walked 17 and struck out 18. His release came just two days after giving up three earned runs on four hits, a walk and two wild pitches in two innings of work in a 10-4 loss to the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night.

Boggs spent the better part of six seasons with the Cardinals, making his MLB debut as a starting pitcher on June 6, 2008. He also had starts in 2009 before moving to the bullpen.

His career took a sharp turn at the start of the 2013 season. In 18 appearances, Boggs posted an 11.05 ERA, allowing 18 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings of work. He was traded by St. Louis to the Colorado Rockies midway through the season and spent time in the majors and minors, but the Rockies did not tender him a contract offer the following winter, making him a free agent.

According to stats listed at baseballreference.com, Boggs’ overall MLB record is 13-15 with a 4.12 ERA. He has six saves, 233 strikeouts and 144 walks in 316 2/3 innings pitched.

During his senior season of high school, Boggs was a star on both the football field and the baseball diamond. He led the Catamounts to the Class 4A state title game and was selected as The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Baseball Player of the Year as a pitcher/third baseman. While at Georgia, he helped lead the Bulldogs to a Southeastern Conference title and an appearance in the College World Series.

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