According to a report by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Mitchell Boggs, the righthanded starter has experienced tightness in his right shoulder during early bullpen sessions at the Cardinals’ spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida.
Selected in the fifth round (170th overall) of the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft, last season Boggs picked up a win in his major league debut, but after two stints with St. Louis, Boggs posted a 3-2 record with a 7.41 ERA, in eight games, including six starts. At Triple-A Memphis he fared much better, posting a record of 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA.
Boggs has been expected by some to compete for a spot in the Cardinals rotation, especially if Chris Carpenter, who is trying to make a comeback from Tommy John surgery in 07 and elbow surgery in 08, isn't ready by opening day or if RHP Joel Pineiro, who went 7-7 with a 5.15 ERA in 26 games (25 starts), for the Cardinals last season doesn't start the season in the team's rotation.
Ranked by the Birdhouse as the Cardinals’ #8 prospect this past offseason, the 24-year-old pitcher, took home Scout.com's Memphis 2008 "Starting Pitcher of the Year" honors. Last season, Boggs limited opposing hitters to a collective .235 batting average, though he is considerably more effective against right-handers than left-handed hitters (.189 vs. .286).
Boggs will likely see more playing time in St. Louis in 2009 with the most likely scenario being as an emergency spot starter, but if Chris Carpenter isn't ready by opening day and Pineiro is ineffective in spring training, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Boggs could start the season penciled in as the team's #5 starter.
Ray Mileur can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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