St. Louis Cardinals: Is Mitchell Boggs a Better Option at Closer?

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIApril 21, 2011

ST. LOUIS - JULY 18: Manager Tony LaRussa #10 of the St. Louis Cardinals removes pitcher Mitchell Boggs #41 from the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium on July 18, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 5-4.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Update: It appears TLR has taken my advice (I will assume TLR, like everyone else reads my stuff) and has inserted Boggs as the closer in St. Louis. In Game 2 of their double header last night against the Washington Nationals, TLR went to Boggs in the ninth with a 5-3 lead. Boggs pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his first save of the season.

With TLR, you never know what he is thinking or going to do next or which bottle of wine he is going to celebrate with, but as of right now, it appears Boggs is the closer for the Cardinals.

Original Post, 4/13/2011: Over the weekend St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa gave a vote of confidence to closer Ryan Franklin. The beleaguered closer is off to a rough start and has a 9.82 ERA in four games.

According to’s Matthew Leach, LaRussa said Franklin was still his closer. One of the reasons Franklin is still the closer is that TLR and the club do not believe that Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Miguel Batista or anyone else is a better option right now.

I call malarkey on that one.

I think they do have a better option in their pen. And that is Boggs.

Boggs is a 27-year-old, RHP, who is off to his best start in his four-year career. In six innings, Boggs has nine K’s and has allowed just three hits.

Take a look at what Boggs has done over the past four seasons….

4 Seasons4.57890165.188841484120891.5739.
162 Game Avg.4.57580108585595578891.5739.
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/13/2011.

As you can see, Boggs has improved each year he has been in the Major Leagues and look what he is doing this season. Once again he has lowered his BB/9 rate and raised his K/9 rate. That’s what you want to see from your relievers.

More importantly for Boggs, he is fairing well against left-handed batters. Boggs has really struggled against lefties in the past, but through 10 plate appearances in 2011, lefties are only hitting .222 against him.

Yes, I know it’s a small sample size, but improvement is improvement.

It appears Boggs has figured things out. And when a guy who throws 93 mph has figured things out, then that’s a good thing.

Franklin is clearly at the end of his rope and Boggs is just starting with his. If Franklin continues to struggle, then TLR shouldn’t stick with him based on the fact that Boggs has never closed before.

Everyone deserves a shot to do something for the first time. That’s the only way someone is going to find out if they can cut the mustard.

Boggs should be given his shot.

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