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.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.