Mitchell Boggs has gone from taking over for Jason Motte as the Cardinals’ fill-in closer to being demoted to Triple-A.
The final straw came last night, as Boggs walked the only two batters he faced to give him more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) and 31 total baserunners allowed in 10.2 innings overall this season. Last year Boggs threw 73 innings with a 2.21 ERA and he had a combined 3.08 ERA in 201 innings from 2010-2012. Boggs actually went from fill-in closer to Triple-A demotion within the span of three weeks in 2011, although his struggles weren’t nearly as lengthy or pronounced back then.
To take Boggs’ spot on the roster and in the bullpen the Cardinals called up 21-year-old right-hander Carlos Martinez, who’ll be getting his first taste of the big leagues after ranking among the top-50 prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com heading into the season. Martinez has been a starter throughout his minor-league career, posting a 2.74 ERA and 277 strikeouts in 260 innings, but he’ll be used out of the bullpen initially in St. Louis to give manager Mike Matheny another setup option in front of Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal.
Last night, Cubs manager Joe Maddon drew criticism across the baseball landscape for his non-usage of closer Wade Davis in Game 2 of the NLCS. The game was ultimately lost on Justin Turner‘s walk-off three run home run against John Lackey, the man who led the National League in home runs allowed.
Maddon stuck to his guns when speaking to the media on Monday. Defending his decision not to utilize Davis, Maddon said, “It’s important not to dry hump him, as the saying goes,” Josh Frydman of WGN News reports. Maddon means getting Davis warming up in the bullpen and never actually getting him into the game.
This, of course, doesn’t make sense because Maddon controls whether or not Davis is used. He restricts himself with orthodoxy, like managing to the save statistic. After last night’s game, Maddon said, “We needed [Davis] for the save,” via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The save situation never came up because an inferior pitcher ended the game before the Cubs had a chance to take a lead.
If Davis warms up and Maddon gets him into the game, he’s not being “dry humped.” But if Davis warms up, then sits down because the Cubs can’t take a lead and Maddon still refuses to put him in the game, then yeah, he’s being “dry humped.”