Collapse of Boggs proves to be cautionary tale -

Collapse of Boggs proves to be cautionary tale

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(Baseball StL) -- Mitchell Bogg’s stunning fall from grace is a reminder of the importance organizational depth. When Jason Motte went down with an elbow injury, few people doubted Bogg’s ability to step up and handle the closer’s role.

He was, after all, among the best set-up men in baseball in 2012. But Boggs fell flat on his face. He either couldn’t handle the pressure, or is suffering from an arm problem himself.

The Cardinals gave him many chances in the closer’s role, but Boggs just wasn’t up to the task. He was sent down to Memphis and didn’t much better against minor league competition. Now he’s been traded to Colorado for $206,400. That’s about as quickly as a pitcher’s stock can fall in one half of a season.

Boggs’ situation is actually not that unique. It happens with pitchers from time to time; even outstanding pitchers. They wake up one day, and just don’t have it anymore.

A pitcher in the major leagues doesn’t have to lose his command by much before he’s throwing batting practice, instead of getting important outs in the late innings. If nothing else, what happened to Boggs serves as a reminder of how it is for a team to continue to develop young pitchers and not assume the veterans will continue to produce as they have in the past.

The Cardinals were well prepared for the Boggs meltdown, bringing up promising relievers like Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Keith Butler and Michael Blazek. Not many other organizations would have been as prepared for losing its set-up man, but the Cardinals were and the results are evident. 

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