Results tagged ‘ Mitchell Boggs ’

Wednesday tidbits: Lopez, Motte, more

We’ll get to the tidbits in just a moment, but first a couple of requests. 

I could use some input from y’all. Over the past year or two, the primary way I’ve used this blog is as an outlet for tidbit-y news. However, now that we’re writing notebooks once again, a lot of times all of that news goes on the site. So I’m trying to figure out how exactly to use the blog in other ways as we go forward.
So, my two requests are:
1. Please be patient. I know there hasn’t been enough content on here, and I’m not pleased about that either.
2. Let me know what you want to see here. Opinions? I’d love to do some column-y kind of stuff. Game breakdowns and tactics? Some statistical stuff? Let me know.
Now, on with the tidbits, which I’m posting here so as to get them up quickly before I file my notebook later this evening.
* Felipe Lopez has some soreness in his right arm and is not in the lineup as a result. He started feeling it in Milwaukee, but TLR told us today that the club didn’t know of the issue when Lopez was asked to pitch on Saturday. The hope is that Lopez will be fully available on Friday.
* Jason Motte has been throwing a sinker, and he’s feeling good about what he’s able to do with it. I’ll have some more detail on this in my notebook later this evening. Credit where it’s due. It was this post at Viva El Birdos that got me to asking Motte about what he’s throwing these days. So thanks for the assist.
* It’s unusually cool and breezy here in the desert today, so the roof is closed at Chase Field tonight.
* TLR said that Kyle McClellan is probably off limits tonight after pitching two innings, but that Mitchell Boggs might be available if needed.
That’s all for the baseball, so you can click on to another page if you don’t want to see the playlist.
Today’s playlist is an all-Arizona special:
The Refreshments, “Banditos”
Supersuckers, “Born With a Tail”
Alice Cooper, “I’m Eighteen”
Meat Puppets, “Sam”
Machines of Loving Grace, “Golgotha Tenement Blues”
-M.

Boggs hunting for a consistent delivery

 Mitchell-Boggs.jpgMitchell Boggs has a chance this spring to win the most prominent role he’s yet had in the Major Leagues, but Boggs said on Thursday that his struggles in Grapefruit League play have had nothing to do with nerves. It’s simply a matter of ironing out his delivery, the right-hander said.


“I pitched in the playoffs last year, first time I’ve ever been in the bullpen,” Boggs said. “It’s got nothing to do with nerves. It’s got everything to do with being inconsistent with my delivery. Not getting in a consistent spot each and every pitch. that’s what I have to do. You walk the leadoff guy, he’s going to score. It’s got nothing to do with nerves. It’s got everything to do with execution.”
Boggs still has some time to get things sorted out with two weeks left in Spring Training. Pitching coach Dave Duncan remains a believer in what Boggs can offer the Cardinals’ bullpen, and he expects Boggs to get right. But Duncan acknowledged that the time is coming when Boggs needs to get straightened out.
“Boggs has a funky delivery that takes a while to get in a good rhythm with good timing to get good results,” Duncan said. “His stuff is great. He’s kind of like [Rich] Hill, his command is not what it needs to be yet. Both guys have deliveries that are troublesome.
“He’s got a lot going on. got a lot of movement in his delivery. I think he just finds a rhythm, and in spite of the fact that he’s got all these things going on, he’s able to get to a consistent release point. That’s why it takes him longer to get there.”
What’s fortunate for Boggs — but not ideal for the team — is not other relievers have not really dazzled to a point where Boggs’ roster spot or even his role might be in jeopardy. Boggs remains at least a candidate to seize the primary right-handed setup job for St. Louis.
But he needs to get right.
He allowed three hits and a walk on Thursday, but also struck out two. There were flashes, just not enough.
“The results weren’t what I wanted them to be or what I need them to be,” Boggs said. “I was just falling behind guys, which you can’t do. I’m striking guys out when I get ahead, making good pitches when I get ahead. But the guys I fall behind, I’m putting myself in a hole and you can’t do that. These guys are too good of hitters. When you put them in a count where they feel comfortable, they’re going to do damage. That’s what I did today, and that’s what I have to focus on getting better at.”
(Photo by Danny Wild/MLB.com)

Saturday Spring Training tidbits: Lopez, Boggs, Lynn, more

Every day is prettier than the one before these days in Jupiter. Still sunny, a yet a little warmer again today. It’s feeling like Florida.

* Felipe Lopez made his game debut today, a day earlier than TLR had said yesterday and two days sooner than he had said earlier this week.
“I was going to play him tomorrow,” La Russa said. “But then talking to him yesterday, he said he was OK, ready to go. I said good, there’s a spot. Freese has played two days in a row. We’ll get him out of there and it’s yours.”
* Lance Lynn gave the most impressive performance by a Cardinals pitcher thus far (admittedly, it’s a small selection to choose from) when he went three perfect innings on Friday. It’s way too early to start going crazy about something like this, but Lynn is one of the more interesting pitchers in the system.
“You give him credit for what it is,” La Russa said. “There’s the old thing about early in the spring versus later in the spring. He was able to master command of several pitches, and that usually gives hitters trouble. Now, if he can continue to do that, that’s a good thing to do the rest of the time. Hitters will get a little sharper. But I thought he handled himself as far as cool and composure, I thought that was really good.”
* Mitchell Boggs, meanwhile, had a tough outing in his 2010 debut on Friday. He allowed three runs in his second inning. And just as the manager didn’t get too far ahead of things with Lynn’s good showing, he was equally reserved regarding Boggs’ rocky one.
“It already has been explained to him, and we’ll probably explain it again,” he said. “If you give up some hits, figure out what you could do differently or better, right? If you’re going out there, you hang a breaking ball and the guy pops it up, [and you think], ‘Hey, I had a good outing,’ that’s [not good]. Really, you’re supposed to be very frank with yourself. I think he wants to well because he wants to make the club.”
* The Cardinals play in Fort Myers on Monday (against the Red Sox) and Tuesday (against the Twins), and there will be two buses going each way. Some players will go over Monday, and some will go on Tuesday. Meanwhile, of those who go Monday, some will come back the same day, and some will stay to play the second game.
* Some cuts may come as early as Sunday night before the road trip, and another round could come when the club gets back from Ft. Myers.
Today’s playlist:
Chromeo, “Destination Overdrive”
Iggy Pop, “Nightclubbing”
New Order, “Temptation”
Muse, “Time Is Running Out”
Cut Copy, “Lights & Music”
-M.

Friday Spring Training tidbits: Ryan, Craig, Lopez, Boggs and more

It’s starting to warm up today, and the sky is as perfectly blue as can be here at Roger Dean Stadium. It’s time for the spring home opener. Here are the tidbits:

* Brendan Ryan keeps moving forward, and he’s planning to take soft toss on Monday. The hope would be that a week after that, he could take batting practice, which would mean game at-bats no sooner than March 22. He’s still a ways off but moving forward.
Ryan and TLR were asked about the possibility of Ryan appearing as a defensive replacement or baserunner in a game sooner than that. Neither dismissed it out of hand, but it doesn’t seem very likely at this point.
* Allen Craig took live BP again today, and he seems very close to OK as he deals with a sore left quadriceps. But the team is going to be very cautious with him. It still sounds like he’ll sit out all weekend.
* Felipe Lopez, meanwhile, might make his debut on Sunday. The target had originally been Monday, but TLR sounded today like that could be bumped up a day.
* Mitchell Boggs makes his spring debut today, and the aim is for him to throw about 30 pitches. That’s a bit shorter than some of the starters have been throwing — some have already done 40 pitches in two simulated innings. 
Boggs is not going to be kept exclusively short this spring. He’ll be stretched out some. But it remains evident that the most likely destination for him is the bullpen. I don’t expect he’ll be stretched out in the same way as even someone like Blake Hawksworth.
“He needs to pitch,” La Russa said. “He needs to work on his pitches.”
That means he won’t be going one-inning-only early in camp. But I expect his path will diverge from those of the starters sooner than some other guys’ will.
* One spot that remains open is for a swingman in the bullpen, like what Brad Thompson did in recent years: someone who can pitch long relief, take a spot start and do other duties as assigned. Hawksworth is one pitcher who may factor in that race, but there’s also something to be said for a left-hander in that job.
That may be where Rule 5 Draftee Ben Jukich fits in. A third tactical lefty wouldn’t make much sense for the Cardinals. But a left-hander who can go multiple innings, and make an occasional start, might have real value. Jaime Garcia, however, likely would not be that pitcher.
Today’s playlist:
Letters to Cleo, “Veda Very Shining”
Material Issue, “Li’l Christine”
Dramarama, “Anything Anything”
R.E.M., “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”
Elvis Costello, “Radio Radio”
-M.

Division Series Game 1 tidbits: Schumaker, Rasmus, Ankiel, Boggs, Hawksworth

Greetings from gorgeous Dodger Stadium. It’s an absolutely perfect night at the ballpark, dusk just settling in. Had some fantastic Cuban food for lunch (Versailles, on Venice — highly recommended) and now we’re settling in for a ballgame. Life is good.

* Despite some speculation to the contrary, TLR went with Skip Schumaker at second base and Colby Rasmus in center field tonight against Dodgers lefty Randy Wolf. It’s the team’s best defensive lineup, rather than having Lugo at second base.

Here’s La Russa on the two calls:

“It really came down to Colby or Rick in center. And I think Colby earned the start. Rick’s close. We have a good team, [so] we have a choice to make. And at second, we’ve gone with Lugo a lot against left-handers and I would expect maybe tomorrow [he'll play]; we’ll see how today goes.  I felt like Schu was a good matchup for Wolf, and Julio has struggled against Wolf. In fact, quite a few of our guys have.”

For what it’s worth, Lugo is 1-for-8 against Wolf and Schumaker is 0-for-3. Rasmus is 3-for-5, which may be the real key to the equation in TLR’s mind. One other thing: I think there’s at least a perception that Wolf is not a lefty-killer in the same way that Kershaw is. However, Wolf has a much bigger split this year than Kershaw, and is absolutely obliterating left-handed hitters.

Still, personally, I like the lineup. I’ve already gone on record saying that in the playoffs, I think the defensive downgrade to Lugo isn’t worth whatever offensive edge you may get against a LHP. We’ll see.

* Also within the outfield mix, of course, is Rick Ankiel. TLR was asked in his pregame news conference today about Ankiel’s pinch-hitting success, and he acknowledged that it factors into his decision making. It’s only 26 plate appearances, but Ankiel is batting .273 with a .385 OBP and .591 SLG as a pinch-hitter this year.

* Mitchell Boggs and Blake Hawksworth secured the last two spots in the Cardinals’ bullpen when the roster was announced today. The manager’s answer when asked about the decisions was, I thought, revealing. He basically indicated that Hawksworth was all but automatic, and Boggs was the one guy who was maybe a close call.

“I don’t know who you would define as the last two,” he said when asked about the decision on the final two roster spots. I think Boggs is probably one of the two, I’m not sure who the other one would be. … And as far as the other one, we really had a tough call.  We’d have had a really tough call to go 11, because Hawksworth has done a good job, McClellan and Motte been part of what we do. So really going to 12 pitchers made us not to have to make a decision on Boggs versus one of the other young guys.”

Tonight’s playlist certainly suits where I am mentally, and I hope all of y’all are too. It’s let’s-get-it-going music. If you think some of it is cheesy, well, sorry.

U2, “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Motley Crue, “Kickstart My Heart”
Metallica, “Enter Sandman”
Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”

-M.

Monday tidbits: Franklin, DeRosa, rotation

Hello on an absolutely spectacular day in Milwaukee — as nice as I’ve ever seen in eight years of coming here.

* Ryan Franklin acknowledged that his command hasn’t been as sharp lately as he’d like, but he’s not overly concerned just yet. Still, he’s going to get a couple of days off, and maybe the entire series.

* Mark DeRosa is likewise minimizing his back soreness. He said today that he’s getting better, and that “if the situation was different, I would be playing.” He took BP and infield today and should be in there any day now.

* Kyle Lohse will be available in the bullpen today and perhaps tomorrow, and then will start on Saturday. Mitchell Boggs will be bumped to the bullpen. It sounds as though John Smoltz will be staying in the rotation for the foreseeable future as well.

Today’s playlist:
Weezer, “I Want You To”
Romeo Void, “A Girl in Trouble”
Hockey, “Too Fake”
Depeche Mode, “Everything Counts”
Happy Mondays, “Step On”

-M.

Sunday tidbits: DeRosa, Boggs, Glaus, Stock, Wainwright

The Tidbits are belated today, but hopefully worth the wait.

* Mark DeRosa was held out of today’s lineup due to some soreness in his wrist. TLR spoke confidently about it after the game, though.

“He [DeRosa] said, ‘I could have played,’” La Russa said. “Barry [Weinberg, head athletic trainer] said this is a really good day [to rest him]. He’s got a little soreness, a little stiffness. Give him the day, take the off day tomorrow. He’ll play Tuesday.”

HOWEVER — if DeRosa is not in fact in there on Tuesday, don’t panic. He has pretty rough numbers (2-for-20, no XBH, 7 Ks) against Braden Looper, while Khalil Greene has hit Looper very well (4-for-12, 2 HR).

* Mitchell Boggs will start next Saturday in Pittsburgh.

* It appears very likely that Troy Glaus will be activated on Tuesday, when rosters can be expanded, but he may be the only one added to the roster that day. Memphis is in a pennant race and the bulk of the callups may wait until the Triple-A team is done.

* The Cards’ second-round Draft pick this year, Robert Stock, has been promoted from rookie-level Johnson City all the way to low Class A Quad Cities. I asked Jeff Luhnow about this today, and he said it’s largely because QC is still playing, while JC’s season is ending, and they want to get Stock all the work he can get. Still, it’s no coincidence that Stock is going where Shelby Miller is. Ideally, the two will be at QC together next year.

* Adam Wainwright will start Friday in Pittsburgh, and then the following Wednesday at the end of the road trip. After THAT, TLR said, Wainwright will get an extra day before his next start thanks to the Sept. 10 off day.

No playlist, since it’s already too late and time to get on home. G’night.

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Lohse, Boggs, Hawksworth, Wellemeyer, Ryan

* Kyle Lohse was placed on the 15-day disabled list today, and Mitchell Boggs was called up. Boggs is available to pitch in relief as soon as he is needed.

The Cardinals are still not committing to a starter for Lohse’s spot in the rotation, but signs point to Boggs. They remain hesitant to take Blake Hawksworth out of the bullpen.

* Todd Wellemeyer is coming along OK but has not begun throwing off a mound. FSN’s Jim Hayes reports that Wellemeyer will throw off a mound for the first time on Tuesday. TLR said he expects that Wellemeyer will need to go throw somewhere in the Minors before rejoining the big league pitching staff.

* The skipper also expounded a little more on last night’s baserunning hijinks at second. He said the sign from the dugout was “must run” — not exactly a steal, but both runners run as soon as the ball is headed to home plate. There are, he said, all sorts of shades of run signs, including “want you to run,” where the runner has the discretion if it doesn’t look smart, and a green light, where the runner is free to run. But this was “must run” — no discretion involved, except to make sure the pitcher is going to the plate.

Thus, in his mind, there was no doubt that it was Ryan’s mistake.

Tonight’s playlist:
Weezer, “The Good Life”
Jane’s Addiction, “Mountain Song”
Soundgarden, “Pretty Noose”
The Ting Tings, “That’s Not My Name”
Pinback, “Fortress”

-M.

Thursday tidbits: Garcia activated and optioned, Smoltz, Boggs, Ludwick

Hello from San Diego, which absolutely deserves its reputation as one of the best cities in America. Terrific ballpark too.

* Jaime Garcia was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. Garcia has been rehabbing from “Tommy John” elbow surgery. On Wednesday night he started at Memphis in what technically was his last rehab start.

He pitched well in that game after a four-run first, finishing with four runs in six innings, nine strikeouts and one walk. He’ll continue pitching for Memphis.

* John Smoltz was officially added to the active roster today. He spoke extensively with reporters — look for a story on the site before long — and threw a bullpen. He remains scheduled to start Sunday.

* Mitchell Boggs was optioned to Memphis in order to make room for Smoltz.

* Ryan Ludwick is not in the lineup, but TLR said it’s not health-related. Ludwick struck out three times against Tim Stauffer last week, so that is likely the explanation.

Tonight’s playlist is a San Diego special:
Steve Poltz, “Everything About You” (hi, Mrs. Dude!)
The Monroes, “What Do All the People Know”

Louis XIV, “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”
Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song”
P.O.D., “Boom”

-M.

Wednesday lineup and quick tidbits; more to follow

* TLR confirmed that John Smoltz will start Sunday, and then next weekend — probably Saturday — against Washington.

* Colby Rasmus said he’s feeling better today, and he’s back in the lineup.

* Mitchell Boggs will be sent out to make room for Smoltz.

Lineup vs LHP Clayton Kershaw:
1. Ryan SS
2. Lugo 2B
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. DeRosa 3B
7. Molina C
8. Rasmus CF
9. Wainwright P

-M.

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