Mitchell Boggs flopped as St. Louis’ fill-in closer when Jason Motte went down and then continued struggling in a setup role before the Cardinals demoted him to Triple-A with a 12.66 ERA and 12 walks in 11 innings.
It was a shocking turn of events for a 29-year-old who posted a 3.08 ERA during the previous three seasons, but it’s looking like Boggs’ stay in the minors may not be very long.
Boggs has yet to allow a run in five Triple-A outings while holding opponents to a .167 batting average. With four strikeouts and two walks in five innings he hasn’t exactly been overpowering and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com notes that he’s labored quite a bit even in scoreless innings, but so far so good.
Edward Mujica has fared so well in the closer role that Boggs regaining that job is completely off the table, so he merely has to convince the Cardinals he’s capable of being a middle relief asset.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.