Mitchell Boggs goes from closer to Triple-A in three weeks

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When the Cardinals bumped Ryan Franklin from the closer role last month they turned to Mitchell Boggs as his replacement and the 27-year-old right-hander responded by converting his first three save chances.

Boggs blew his fourth save chance on April 26 and hasn’t been given another ninth-inning lead since. And today the Cardinals demoted him to Triple-A.

Boggs has struggled of late, allowing five runs in his last six appearances, but his overall numbers are just fine with a 3.66 ERA, .233 opponents’ batting average, and 19/4 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He also has a track record of success with a 3.61 ERA in 67 innings as a setup man last season.

All of which makes it very odd that the Cardinals thought enough of Boggs to make him the fill-in closer three weeks ago and now don’t even think he’s worth keeping in the majors. One bad week apparently trumps the 3.50 ERA he posted in his first 95 innings as a reliever.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.