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Cardinals admit obvious, name Mitchell Boggs closer (sort of)

Apr 25, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT

mitchell-boggs-cardinals AP

For whatever reason manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan have been reluctant to actually name a replacement for Ryan Franklin, who was stripped of closing duties last week.

However, after giving Mitchell Boggs three straight save opportunities and watching him handle them successfully while looking very good in the process Duncan finally admitted that Boggs is the Cardinals’ new closer. Well, sort of.

Here’s what he told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

I’d say that’s an accurate description of the current situation. Does that mean we will exclusively use him in the ninth inning? Probably not. But he’s going to get an opportunity to see what he can do. I think you present an opportunity and let results take you where they take you.

Perhaps not actually saying “Boggs is the new closer” would make it easier to eventually hand the job back to Franklin, but short of that I’m not sure what the reluctance comes from. Whatever the case Boggs now has a 3.51 ERA in 92 career innings as a reliever, including a 1.46 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio in 12 innings so far this season, and his average fastball has clocked in at 94.2 miles per hour.

In related news, Franklin has taken to shaving off his monstrous goatee in an effort to change his luck. He ought to speak to Don Mattingly about the situation.

  1. paperlions - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    If shaving off the goatee changes his pitching ability, then doing it might make a difference…if he keeps going out there with the stuff he has right now, no amount of luck is going to help the situation.

  2. spudchukar - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    A couple of reasons for hesitating to annoint him closer is he has had 3 good outings in the past and then imploded. Both Sanchez and Salas have pitched better, and at least Sanchez has closer “stuff”, Granted he has the goods to do the job and thus far has been successful, but that won’t always be the case, and I for one am not so sure he has the makeup to handle the role. Time will tell. Let him earn it.

    • paperlions - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      I agree. I have no idea why someone has to immediately be annointed to the job. The “let’s give Boggs a chance and see what he does with it” approach is exactly what should be done.
      I’m more concerned with have 3 rather useless guys in the bullpen (Batista, Miller, Franklin) than I am with who they call the closer.

      • spudchukar - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        I’m with you on two of three. When Augenstein and Tallet come back, not that either are all that solid, I believe we have to give serious thought into dumping at least one if not both Batista and Frankie. One thing for sure, if Salas and Sanchez continue to dazzle, I am going to be one disappointed fan if they return either to AAA.

  3. Reflex - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    They should just make Chris Carpenter the closer. I mean, a lights out closer is worth so much more than an elite starter.

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