Gerald Laird Injured By Pitch, Will Miss 4-6 Weeks; Tony Cruz Called Up

St. Louis Cardinals injuries and roster moves piled up all at one over the weekend. Exit Gerald Laird and Mitchell Boggs; enter Skip Schumaker, Tony Cruz, and Brian Broderick.

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Mitchell Boggs Sent To Minor Leagues, Possibly To Become A Starter

Mitchell Boggs, the first man to take the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer’s role in the wake of Ryan Franklin’s meltdown, was sent down to the minor leagues to make room for a returning Skip Schumaker Sunday night, and his route their was complicated by news he would join the Memphis Redbirds’ starting rotation.

Boggs, a starter through the minors, struggled with his control on his first exposure to the Major Leagues before rejoining the club as a hard-throwing reliever who touched 97 on a fastball that once sat around 93. His fastball-slider repertoire seemed perfect for the role, but he’s never seemed to fully earn Tony La Russa’s trust as a reliever, and Dave Duncan has never met a hard-thrower with low strikeout rates he didn’t want to move into the rotation.

His demotion is likely a temporary one, part of a roster crunch that saw the young right-handed relievers squeezed on one side by Brian Tallet’s return from a broken hand and on another by Ryan Franklin and Miguel Batista’s guaranteed-contract ineptitude, but it remains unclear just how far this stint in the starting rotation will be taken.

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Washington Nationals Return Brian Broderick To St. Louis Cardinals Following Rule 5 Audition

Minor league starter Brian Broderick, a surprise Rule 5 pick by the Washington Nationals after a solid season at the St. Louis Cardinals’ AA affiliate, was returned Monday after two months of sparing use in the Nats’ bullpen. Broderick appeared in 11 games and finished with an ERA of 6.57; his groundball tendencies were out in full force, but he had trouble getting his high-80s fastball past Major League hitters.

Broderick was nowhere near the Cardinals’ Major League picture despite both matching Dave Duncan’s standing eHarmony personal ad for heavy-fastball pitchers and going 11-2 with a 2.77 ERA in his first exposure to the high minors. With a strikeout-per-nine of just 4.9 in Springfield he simply doesn’t miss enough bats yet, at least as a starter.

The Nationals fans at Federal Baseball did not seem especially concerned by the news, at first glance. With Mitchell Boggs being moved to the Memphis rotation on the same day it’s not immediately clear in what role Broderick will pitch; left-handed equivalent Nick Additon, who was recently promoted from Springfield, might be headed back down.

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