ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- How does he do it? Is it luck? Is it pure genius? Is it...coincidence? Whatever it is, it’s working.
GM John Mozeliak’s trade deadline acquisitions these last two seasons have been nothing short of remarkable. It’s almost as if the man has a real life magic 8 ball and can see into these players’ futures.
In 2011 it was dealing Colby Rasmus for a slew of solid-but-unspectacular guys like Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Mark Rzepczynski and Corey Patterson. Shortly after it was sending a decent prospect in Alex Castellanos to the Dodgers for Rafael Furcal. All except one of them (Patterson) played a crucial role in winning the World Series.
Those moves, by the way, were met with nothing but distaste by national writers.
In 2012, it’s Edward Mujica. A - blah - middle reliever was hardly a blip on the radar screen in comparison to other big moves that saw the likes Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster change teams. Mozeliak flipped former 1st rounder Zack Cox for Mujica.
That trade, also, was met with nothing but distaste...if anything.
Well...it seems for the second consecutive year...Mozeliak’s magic is working. Goodness. Mujica had an extraordinarily pedestrian 4.38 ERA and .240 opponents’ batting average in Miami before coming to St. Louis. Now? How about a 0.00 ERA. Yes, that’s all zeroes. Not a single run (or inherited run) allowed as a Redbird.
16 appearances, 15 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks and 11 strikeouts.
It’s now gotten to the point where you have to question whether he’s earned himself a larger role. I know there’s not a larger role to really be had...by the inning. Jason Motte owns the 9th, Mitchell Boggs the 8th. That’s not really going to change.
But take today for instance. With Joe Kelly cruising through 6 innings and able to get a couple outs in the 7th, Mujica was only needed to get one out when Kelly couldn’t finish. So when the 8th came up it was almost if Mujica wasn’t eligible to pitch anymore because the 7th had passed and that’s his territory. It was the 8th now and that’s Boggs’ inning.
Look...this has nothing to do with Boggs and his rough outing where he gave up a 2-run home run to Daniel Murphy and needed Jason Motte to come in and get 5 outs. I’m not second guessing anything here. 9 times out of 10 Boggs will finish that off with ease.
It’s just if the starter is going to go into the 7th and you’ve got someone who, quite literally, hasn’t given up a run...maybe you consider giving Mujica the 8th once in a while? I just feel like relegating Mujica to the 7th inning (and only the 7th inning) you’re potentially not taking advantage of someone who’s flat out on fire.
What’s the old saying? Ride the hot hand. Yes, Boggs has been red hot too. I’m not suggesting Mujica pitch at Boggs’ expense. What I am suggesting is Mike Matheny be a little more liberal with his midseason acquisition and where he can appear.
The guy’s got a 0.67 WHIP for crying out loud. You’d hate to see him wasted in a potential late game situation.