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.
Despite the struggles, he was still regularly used by manager Mike Matheny notching 14 appearances, second most in the bullpen to Rosenthal. At this point though, Boggs is allowing 2.72 walks and hits per inning pitched and has a ballooned ERA of 12.66. He has blown two saves and been the pitcher on record for two more losses. A far cry from the pitcher who was dominant in the eighth inning last season. Continue reading
Yesterday was the UCB trip to the ballpark where select members received the opportunity to have a brief Q&A session with John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt III. My question for the team’s General Manager would have been when do the bullpen issues reach critical mass and require the team to start making moves? The answer? Today. Marc Rzepczynski will be headed to Memphis while Seth Maness should catch up with the big league club today. It was a surprise selection considering the struggles of the team’s setup guy and expected closer Mitchell Boggs.
Rzepczynski has allowed 16 baserunners in his 8 innings of work for a 7.88 ERA. He isn’t even doing his job as a lefty specialist, left handed hitters are teeing off of him with a .385 batting average.
Maness, 24, was an 11th round pick of the Cardinals in the 2011 draft. He has gained a reputation for being a control pitcher, walking just 18 batters in 248 minor league innings. Last season in Springfield he went 11-3 with a 2.97 ERA. This season in Memphis he has a 4.32 ERA to begin the season. Continue reading
Matt Adams‘ hot start will have to wait for its next chance to burn as the Cardinals announced today that they have placed him on the 15 day disabled list retroactive to April 22nd. Adams had complained about tightness in his back and visited the club doctor yesterday to review the injury. Apparently it’s bad enough to side line him for a couple weeks.
Adams had been hitting .542 with 3 home runs in the 8 games he’d played in this season. His slugging percentage currently stands at 1.042.
In his place the club has purchased the contract of infielder Jermaine Curtis. Curtis, 25, was a fifth round pick of the Cardinals in the 2008 draft out of UCLA. He split time between Springfield and Memphis last season and amassed a line of .310/.419/.373 with a home run and 25 RBI. He is off to a solid start in Memphis this season, posting a .292 batting average with a home run and 17 RBI in 17 games. Continue reading
In a surprise move to me, the St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have unconditionally released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. The move leaves Pete Kozma uncontested as the primary shortstop entering the season and opens up a spot on the bench which is expected to be filled by slugging first baseman Matt Adams.
Cedeno, 30, was signed by the Cardinals less than two months ago to a 1 year, $1.15 million contract. He was brought onboard as insurance in the event that Rafael Furcal would be unable to be the team’s regular shortstop and that Pete Kozma’s September was just a lightning strike. Furcal headed for the surgeon’s table, but Kozma was struck twice as he is hitting .318 so far this spring.
On the other hand, Cedeno struggled early but has come on as of late, hitting .290 with a double and a home run. Defensively he has committed 2 errors in his 45 innings at shortstop. The same number as Kozma has in twice as many innings at the position. Continue reading