Cardinals demote Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A, promote Carlos Martinez

USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis has finally had enough of Boggs' early struggles, freeing room in the bullpen for one of its top prospects in the process.

The St. Louis Cardinals have optioned interim closer Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A and called upon young right-hander Carlos Martinez to replace him on the roster, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Boggs, 29, has been a big part of the Cardinals' pitching staff for the past six seasons. The right-hander initially made his mark as a spot starter but moved to the bullpen full-time in 2010. With the news in March that Jason Motte was out indefinitely because of elbow issues, the Cardinals promoted Boggs to the closer role to open the season.

While his first outing of the year went well, things got very bad very quickly after that. In 14 appearances on the year -- totaling just 10⅔ innings -- Boggs has two losses, two separate blown saves, and has put on an incredible 31 base-runners. The final straw came in his outing Thursday night, in which he walked the only two batters he faced. He now "boasts" a 12.66 ERA on the year to go along with 12 walks, two hit-by-pitches, and 10 strikeouts.

Martinez, 21, will get his first taste of big-league action out of the Cardinals' bullpen, even though he's a starter by trade. Ranked as the No. 38 prospect in the game by Baseball America before the season, the young right-hander has not disappointed in three starts for Double-A Springfield, posting a 2.31 ERA and 9.00 K/BB in 11⅔ innings.

With Boggs out of the picture indefinitely, Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal will step into the closer shoes primarily. Martinez may work his way into a setup role, but it seems more likely that he'll start out in more low-leverage situations.

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