Is it a Sports Illustrated cover jinx? Is it just plain bad luck? Once again the Cardinals feel more like a MASH unit than a baseball team as injuries mount. Jaime Garcia down for the year after labrum and rotator cuff surgery, Jake Westbrook is headed to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, and rookie starter John Gast (who replaced Westbrook in the rotation) left Saturday’s game in the second inning with shoulder tightness.
Over the weekend the Cardinals indicated that Tyler Lyons would join the team to take Jaime Garcia‘s place in the rotation on Wednesday. What we didn’t know was what the team would do to fit him onto the 40 man roster. Now we do.
Right handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez was placed on waivers to remove him from the 40 man roster and was claimed today by the Chicago Cubs. He will reportedly start his Cubs career with Triple-A Iowa.
Jaime Garcia will be shut down once again, the Cardinals announced today as they placed Garcia on the 15-day Disabled List and recalled Mitchell Boggs from Triple-A Memphis. I’m sure I’ll post about Mitchell Boggs later, but he isn’t fixed yet.
Many fans and bloggers have already tried to pin this on the Cardinals’ medical staff as a mistake. They’ll say that he should have had the surgery last year. That they called it that he needed it. Lets remember here that there is only one man who can elect to have surgery, that man is Jaime Garcia. The club and the doctors can want him to have surgery, but if Garcia wants to try rehab, then they try rehab. So to say that the doctors prescribed rest and rehab for it assumes facts not in evidence.
I heard it again today after the Cardinals optioned Mitchell Boggs to Memphis. “Alright Boggs down, now can we get rid of Salas?”
And I have to say that I really don’t understand the dislike of Fernando Salas by a large portion of the fan base. I see it often, people wishing Salas wasn’t a part of the bullpen or the team. While I’ll admit that Salas really isn’t a true elite reliever like a Craig Kimbrel, he is a very good one more often than not. And those are the guys that usually make or break a bullpen.
Thursday night’s struggles were apparently the final straw for the Cardinals’ organization. Getting the call in the 7th inning to help get Joe Kelly out of a mess, Mitchell Boggs proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced, allowing Milwaukee to score their third run of the ballgame. Trevor Rosenthal came in at that point and struck out Martin Maldonado to end the threat.
It was the most recent in a series of disappointing struggles for Mitchell Boggs who was arguably the best setup man in baseball in 2012. The injury to Jason Motte in spring training put the bullpen in flux and Boggs was never able to settle in to the closer’s role. As a result, he continued to struggle with both mechanics and confidence.