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Cardinals trade Mitchell Boggs to the Rockies

Jul 9, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT

mitchell boggs getty Getty Images

Mitchell Boggs was one of the best setup men in baseball last season and got the first crack at closer this year in St. Louis after Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery. But he allowed 21 hits and 20 runs in 14 2/3 innings and has now been traded to the Rockies for international signing money.

This according to’s Jenifer Langosch.

Boggs was sent to Triple-A Memphis for good at the end of May and posted a 5.70 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings there, but he had a 3.08 ERA (124 ERA+) in 201 1/3 frames between 2010 and 2012, and could certainly round back into form with time. The right-hander is 29 years old and he does have past experience as a starting pitcher in both the minors and majors.

“We wish Mitchell all the best,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said in a written statement. “He is a tremendous individual who provided many contributions to the organization’s success.”

  1. benty4476 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Hopefully they use the international signing money slot (#4 from Colorado) for something useful…like a power hitting SS!

  2. icanspeel - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Colorado, the ideal place for a pitcher to resurrect his career

  3. spudchukar - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Ok PL, I am now a true believer. I have seen the light. Wiggington and Boggs in the same day. It is Christmas in July. There is a God.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      LMAO….if we could only figure out which God it was…if I knew, I’d get to work on a shrine right now.

      If I had to guess, it would be one of the anonymous “baseball gods”.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      I like that they got international signing money for him….probably allows for some higher upside than any player they would have got in return.

  4. tanzkommandant - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    This guy is a prime example of numbers not agreeing w/ his actual performances. Even when he was “good”, it was necessary to hold one’s breath when he took the mound. Just not dependable & one nice year is a dime a dozen amongst relievers.

    • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Depends on which numbers you were looking at. While his ERA was good last year (2.21), his Fielding Independent Pitching numbers where more than a full run more and basically indicated he was going to regress (3.42). Also, Boggs apparently has lost a MPH or two off of his velocity from last year, which would greatly affect any performance.

  5. tuberippin - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    These sort of trades seem to have worked out for the Cards recently, between Chris Perez, Colby Rasmus (a hitter, obviously, but still), and now Boggs. How long before they give the keys to the ninth inning to Trevor Rosenthal?

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Doubt they will. They still view him as a starter long-term…probably starting next year. He never pitched before they drafted him, so he is still learning.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:36 PM

        He pitched in college didn’t he?

        Some Juco in Kansas I believe.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        1 inning

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        Great factoid.

        I think a lot of his near future (next year) plan will be based on a couple of things.

        1. If Motte’s not able to come back on schedule after his TJ surgery, Mujica’s pitched his way out of the Cards price range and won’t be back – someone’s gotta close.

        2. Starting pitching depth going into spring – there’ll be at least 4 guys (Martinez, Lyons, Wacha and Gast) vying for a spot in the rotation assuming Westbrook’s option isn’t picked up.

        Garcia’s availability is a crap shoot as well, there’s no telling with shoulder surgery.

        There will be no shortage on opportunity regardless.

      • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Actually, according to Derrick Goold, the Cardinals have been pushing Rosenthal toward the closer role, believing he could lock it down long term. Rosenthal still wants to be a starter, though, so he’ll probably get that opportunity next spring training.

      • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Also, at the time Rosenthal was drafted, he had pitched 34 innings for Cowley County Community College. You can find his statistics here:

        What paperlions is probably thinking of is the story of when Rosenthal was scouted. Cardinals scout Aaron Looper found Rosenthal at a baseball tournament in 2009, which Rosenthal attended shortly after converting from shortstop to pitcher. He had only pitched 1 and 1/3 innings at that point. Story here:

    • bfunk1978 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Not until Mujica either plummets back to earth or leaves St. Louis. He’s been mighty good the last 12 months since coming to STL.

    • spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      The vast majority of pitchers come back from TJ surgery, and regain their previous form. So much so that scouts view having the surgery as a plus not a minus. So Motte most likely will be the closer in 2014.

      Mujica might leave the Cards but if he gets designated a Type A free agent, it could get complicated, if indeed MLB doesn’t alter the signing rules.

      Rosenthal ideally should be a starter. He has very good, steadily improving secondary pitches and his drop and drive style is suited to maintain his velocity for multiple innings. Maybe not in 2014 with Wacha, Martinez, Lynn and possibly Siegrist all possible options but my guess is the Cards view him as a starter long term.

      PL is pretty pessimistic about Garcia. And while shoulder surgery recovery is more questionable, odds are he will be OK.

      Any insight into the hierarchy of “baseball gods”. Is there a Zeus top dog, or is the pantheon on equal terms.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Your mention of Siegrest is intriguing.

        Cart way before horse here, like a bazillion miles before said horse but he may also provide a back of the bullpen alternative moving forward.

        He throws hard, strikes guys out, doesn’t walk guys, has an excellent breaking pitch and is effective against both right and left handers thus far.

        Always fun to speculate.

      • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        The odds are not that Garcia will be okay. He had a torn labrum, which, according to a recent count, has a 33% to 66% surgery success rate. That rate was measured by how many pitchers actually pitched regularly again, not whether they regained their form.

        As I mentioned up thread, Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been saying for a couple of months now that the Cardinals want Rosenthal to be their future closer long-term. The issue is that Rosenthal wants to be a starter.

        Seigrist most likely will stay in the bullpen. He had a ton of injury issues coming through the system as a starter, and the team switched him to reliever this season.

      • spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        As I said, Rosenthal “ideally” is a starter. It may in fact turn out that he is more valuable to the Cards in the pen, in his current capacity or closer, although it is hard to see how Motte gets demoted upon his return.

        Pretty sure 33% to 66% is the same as 50-50. Garcia is still young, in great shape and a tough guy. So I will stand by my contention that the odds are he will be okay in 2014. There is nothing special about labrum injuries that prohibit full recovery. If the surgery is successful, return to form is expected.

        Siegrests stuff indicates he could be a starter. But the Cards wisely like to begin young hard throwers in the pen. He is most likely to be the other lefty in the pen, cause he is successful against righties, and can pitch multiple innings. But I wouldn’t exclude him starting by 2015, earlier if the need arises, but he will have a lot of competition, and most likely will remain in the pen.

      • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        @spud…you also wrote, “..but my guess is the Cards view him as a starter long term.” That’s what I was responding to with the information that Goold’s been providing. There’s still a question of when Motte will be back to the pitcher he was…it took Adam Wainwright a year of pitching after coming back from Tommy John before he regained both his form and his consistency. They’re not going to pencil him into that role until he’s ready.

        I strongly suggest you do some research about torn labrum surgeries and how uncertain they are for baseball pitchers. It is a big unknown of how Garcia will return, and there is a possibility he will not return at all. Two-thirds to a third of pitchers never pitching professionally again is not a 50-50 chance, nor that Garcia will be, in your words, “okay.” From Goold’s two most recent chats when asked about Garcia’s future:

        1. “Shoulder injuries — as Garcia’s eagerness to avoid that surgery should have reminded everyone — do not come with the same success and the same guarantees as elbow surgery. It is just a trickier joint to repair. The rehab is less scripted. We’ve all seen players have shoulder surgery and never return to their pre-procedure form. A lot of that will depend on the work that Garcia does during rehab to rebuild strength and recover. All of those questions are a … yes. It could be spring. It could be midseason. If all does go well, it could be 2015 before Garcia has put enough distance between him and the surgery to be considered full strength.”

        2. “He has to get healthy first and there shouldn’t be any minimization of what he’s trying to come back from or the importance rehab will have in determining whether he can again be the pitcher that he was. That has to happen before his future can be clear. Spring training will be telling.”

        While the Cardinals do tend to break in their pitching prospects in the majors through the bullpen, like Maness, Lynn, and Martinez, Siegrist was moved to the bullpen in the minors by the developmental staff and has been remade as a reliever. Before his callup, he pitched 27.2 innings in 18 games with zero starts between Springfield and Memphis. He’s not going to be a starter that this point–he’s far more effective as a reliever. Siegrist’s starting numbers were decent but not overpowering (similar to Seth Maness, actually, outside of Maness’ insane BB rate), and he hadn’t seen 100 innings in the minors yet (he managed about 97 last year between three levels). He was a decent mid-to-back-of-the-rotation lefty as a starter prospect who has turned into a dominant reliever, who may be a candidate as a late inning shutdown guy–possibly even closer. Given the Cardinals’ system options for the rotation, he’s probably already found his role in St. Louis.

  6. dolphindubs - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Am I the one that has to ask just what the hell is international money?

    • deepstblu - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      Think of it as salary cap space that you can only use to pay bonuses to players from countries not covered by the June draft.

  7. personalspaceinvader - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    He’ll be up in the bigs for the Rockies in no time. Seriously, they’ve gassed their bullpen already and it has shown. Still though, not an awful deal. You give up virtually nothing.

    • forsch31 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      Boggs was sent to Colorado’s Double A affiliate, so I don’t think they’re going to rush him to the majors. They’re going to try to fix whatever is broken with him first.

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