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Cardinals send Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A to work as a starter

May 24, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

mitchell-boggs-cardinals AP

I wondered yesterday why the Cardinals would demote Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A after he had one bad week following 95 innings of solid relief work, but now we know: He’s going to work as a starter.

Tony La Russa told Tom Krasovic of MLB.com that the idea is for Boggs to develop his secondary pitches while starting every fifth day at Triple-A, adding: “I expect him back this year and to play a major role.”

However, it sounds like that “major role” may still involve returning as a reliever, albeit a reliever with an improved changeup and off-speed stuff. Pitching coach Dave Duncan indicated that Boggs’ return date is undecided, as is his return role.

Still an odd move, but now at least it’s an odd move with some reasoning behind it beyond “he’s pitched poorly for the past week.” Boggs had a 3.66 ERA, .233 opponents’ batting average, and 19/4 K/BB ratio in 20 innings before the demotion.

  1. Drew Silva - May 24, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    I still don’t get it.

  2. stlbaseballman - May 24, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    since the Cardinals don’t “need” more starters, obviously – to me – they are setting him up as trade bait. They need reliable, steady, consistent middle reliever(s). Who wants to trade a reliever for a starter?? Buler…Buler…

    • paperlions - May 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Every team needs more starters, because no team goes the year using only 5 guys. Besides, this may be Carps last year, and Wainwright may not be back to full speed until 2013 (if ever)….anyway, teams always could use more viable starters.

      • paperlions - May 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        In addition, these are McClellan’s IP for the last 3 years: 75, 66, 75. He’s at 57 already….how long can he go before he tires and loses effectiveness? Maybe all year, maybe not…better to be prepared to give him some rest if he needs it.

  3. spudchukar - May 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I tend to agree with all the above comments. It would be smart to prepare for a McClellan fall off since he hasn’t thrown many innings in the past. Sending Boggs to the minors, to work on secondary pitches would make him a more tradeable commodity. And I still don’t get it.

    I have no faith in him as a reliable fifth starter, now or in the future. Allowing him to start, gives him more time to work on his other pitches, but I just don’t see him as a viable alternative to McClellan. Bautista was considered to be the prime option as a spot starter, but his ineffectiveness has most likely caused the management to rethink that. Motte may have moved past Boggs in the seventh inning role, with Sanchez in the eighth and Salas closing.

    Here’s a thought, the O’s need relief help, how about Boggs for Brian Roberts.

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