One of Major League Baseball’s most reliable set up men in 2012 was Mitchell Boggs. The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander led the National League with 34 holds, setting a Cardinals team record in the process.
His 17.1 percentage of inherited runners scoring was seventh-lowest in the league and his ERA of 2.21 was sixth-best. Boggs had one streak of over two months, covering 23 consecutive appearances, without allowing a runner across home plate.
So, what changed in 2013? Jason Motte’s elbow is what.
Shifting Boggs from the eighth inning to the ninth to cover for Motte seemed a natural move to many. Yet with other options in the Cardinals pen, the move was not a no-brainer, either. Others wondered if the Edward Mujica (seventh) and Boggs (eighth) ingredients of St. Louis’ effective bullpen formula should remain as in the second half of 2012.
In the past, I had not been a strong proponent of the “disrupting roles” theory, but I also remember Boggs brief, failed prior stint as closer...