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Cardinals demote Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A, call up prospect Carlos Martinez

May 3, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Mitchell Boggs AP

Mitchell Boggs has gone from taking over for Jason Motte as the Cardinals’ fill-in closer to being demoted to Triple-A.

The final straw came last night, as Boggs walked the only two batters he faced to give him more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) and 31 total baserunners allowed in 10.2 innings overall this season. Last year Boggs threw 73 innings with a 2.21 ERA and he had a combined 3.08 ERA in 201 innings from 2010-2012. Boggs actually went from fill-in closer to Triple-A demotion within the span of three weeks in 2011, although his struggles weren’t nearly as lengthy or pronounced back then.

To take Boggs’ spot on the roster and in the bullpen the Cardinals called up 21-year-old right-hander Carlos Martinez, who’ll be getting his first taste of the big leagues after ranking among the top-50 prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com heading into the season. Martinez has been a starter throughout his minor-league career, posting a 2.74 ERA and 277 strikeouts in 260 innings, but he’ll be used out of the bullpen initially in St. Louis to give manager Mike Matheny another setup option in front of Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal.

  1. dwrek5 - May 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I really thought they were going to Ryan Franklin him and just have him sit in the pen for 3 weeks doing nothing. That’s what TLR woulda done…

  2. blues1988 - May 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    boggs needs to get his head straight and this is the perfect way to do it! but man, talk about some hard throwing righties coming out of the bullpen! Kelly, Rosenthal, and now Martinez can all top out at 100 and throw 98 consistently! so excited for this move!

  3. Francisco (FC) - May 3, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I’m sure Moz did this in self defense to prevent Matheny from using him out of the BP.

  4. stlouis1baseball - May 3, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Excited to see Carlos pitch. Sorry it had to come as a result of Mitchell Boggs struggling so bad.

  5. okwhitefalcon - May 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Lotsa speculation throughout the STL media is this isn’t the last move BP wise, I would not be surprised if either Kelly or Salas gets their Memphis walking papers sooner than later. Wouldn’t be shocked if Gast gets the call up and Maness heads back down either…

    All speculation aside, Martinez is an intriguing guy – time to step up.

  6. triaxfusion - May 3, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Love the 2 moves this week. Finally they admit the problem and do something about it. Whether the call ups perform well or not these moves have to be made.

    • okwhitefalcon - May 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      I like the moves as well, especially the Scrabble demotion.

      Beyond ineffectiveness, he seems to have rebuffed advice and wasn’t making adjustments suggested by the staff. I’m all for sending a message, and this was loud and clear.

      I wasn’t shocked at Boggs failure in the closer role whatsoever although I never envisioned him falling off this far – he just looks totally lost out there regardless of role.

      If you would have told me before the season Edward Mujica and Randy Choate would be the only bright spots in the bullpen I would have rolled my eyes, not any more.

      The trickle down of Motte’s injury has been quite sobering for sure.

      • paperlions - May 3, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        Starting to gain a little faith in the rotation, yet? Starters have a 2.09 ERA, which is nearly a full run (0.96) better than the next team.

      • okwhitefalcon - May 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Ya know, I am.

        Each guy has succeeded my expectations.

        With all the Cards problems, from gas can bullpen to bipolar offense they’re still 17-11 and in first place.

        They’re an interesting club, never a dull moment.

  7. thomas655 - May 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    It is about time!!! My God, he has been horrible this year. I know Matheny said that he needed to find the right spot for Boggs, I believe Triple A might just be the right spot. Scrabble had his problems, but nothing like Boggs. I have asked this before, but is Victor Marte not an option for the bullpen? I believe he is in Memphis. He seemed to be quite capable of late inning relief last season. Does anyone else think he might be a better option than bringing up a very young untested pitcher from the minors?

    • danh35 - May 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Marte was pretty bad last year. 4.91 ERA 1.61 WHIP .302 AVG against. I’ll take a chance on a highly touted prospect over a sub replacement level player like Marte any day.

    • okwhitefalcon - May 3, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      I think Marte is barely north of Mikel Cleto as a viable option at this point if that tells you anything.

      I don’t know if Martinez is ready for what’s being asked of him but we already have a good idea of what Marte brings to the table.

      Let’s see what the kid can do.

      • okwhitefalcon - May 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        More on the Cards bullpen from Fox Sports Midwest, it’s not like we all didn’t know this was probably gonna happen anyway – Motte’s officially done for the year:

        “Mo says Motte will have the surgery early next week. He says Motte was throwing today and the elbow didn’t feel right.”

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