Schumaker back from the DL

Skip Schumaker will return tonight from his month long trip on the disabled list. The question facing the team is who makes a road trip to Memphis.

I can already hear the cries for Ryan Franklin to be finding a new home, but the team is standing behind him and I understand that. Ryan Franklin has been more or less effective during his entire time in St. Louis, save the last couple months (get it, save. Oh, I crack myself up). You have to assume that he’s going to turn it around at some point, just like people are saying about one Mr. Albert Pujols. Why release someone that might be a weapon later in the season? You don’t want to make that assumption just yet.

The rumors are saying it will be Mitchell Boggs.

Boggs, 27, is having, on average, a better year than last year. So why is he looking at a trip to Memphis?

What it comes down to is minor league options. The team doesn’t want to pay Ryan Franklin to play for another team, so who can you send to Memphis. The players in the bullpen with options remaining, as best I can figure it, are Boggs, Jason Motte, Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez.

Fernando Salas is the apparent closer, having picked up the save in three of his last four appearances and got a win in the other. He has seven appearances without allowing a run. In his last six appearances he’s thrown 7 innings and allowed just three base runners. He isn’t going down.

Eduardo Sanchez was the former closer, but has struggled with throwing his best pitch, the slider, for strikes lately. Along with Salas, he has swing-and-miss pitches, something that is a rarity in the St. Louis bullpen. He has received plenty of praise from the coaching staff, something that is exceptionally rare for a young player in this system.

That leaves Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs. Motte was on the hot seat, according to at least one beat writer during Spring Training because he had options remaining and hadn’t figured it out yet. In the end, he ended up on the roster as expected. Neither Motte nor Boggs have been impressive in May after good opening months.

In May, Motte has a 4.76 ERA in 5.2 innings over 7 appearances. In three of those appearances he allowed an earned run, in two additional ones he had unearned runs as he was unable to rebound from poor defensive play. Opposing players are hitting .375 against him.

Boggs on the other hand has been worse. He has a 9.00 ERA in his 5.0 innings over 6 appearances. In four of his six May appearances he has allowed earned runs. Opposing players are hitting .350 against him.

That leaves it to Boggs and Motte and Motte has been more impressive, though very slightly, over the last couple weeks.

And if you want some comparison, even being tagged for four runs against the Cubs, Franklin has an 8.10 ERA in 6.2 innings over 4 appearances, so he’s actually been better than Boggs. Yeah, surprised me too.

Boggs has been used more frequently in May and hasn’t pitched any better than Franklin. Mix that in with a minor league option and you find your guy to send to Memphis.

I think Boggs to Memphis is a good move when you look in the whole span of the season. And I’ve long been one of the biggest Franklin “haters” in the Cardinals fan base.