For most teams in Major League Baseball, losing their closer for an undetermined amount of time would be a lethal blow to the ballclub. That doesn’t seem to be the case for the St. Louis Cardinals. Jason Motte, clearly one of the best closers in the game, is down for now due to an injury but his set-up man Mitchell Boggs is there for the save, literally.
Boggs had the most holds in all of the National League last season. If you compare his stats to those of Motte from a year ago, Boggs hangs in there right with him. Basically there should be very little drop off while Motte is out of action. Throughout the past five seasons, Boggs has improved each year. Last year was a career year for him and this season with the added pressure of closing, he could provide proof that he should be a closer full time.
For the Cardinals there is only one potential problem in Boggs closing games. He will do fine in the role and they likely won’t really miss Motte. Who they will miss is Boggs. They will miss the National League’s best set-up man from a year ago. Sadly with cloning technology lagging behind right now, Boggs closing means that he cannot hold which means someone else will have to be trusted with that very important job.
All in all the Cardinals should hold their own pretty well until Motte’s return. If they are really lucky the only issue will be where they put everyone when he comes back. If things are going great with Boggs closing, will they break that momentum and take the job away from Boggs? I think they would have to but the result of a great performance by Boggs could change the dynamic of the bullpen for the rest of the season. They have a great manager to figure all of that out. They should be fine.