Thursday, January 26, 2012

Q&A with World Series Champion Mitchell Boggs

Mitchell Boggs, P, St. Louis Cardinals

Athlete Q&A: Mitchell Boggs

By Dave Roberts
The Rolla Daily News

Rolla, Mo. - There have been times the St. Louis Cardinals simply haven't known what to do with Mitchell Boggs.

They have used him as a starting pitcher, a middle-inning reliever and as a bullpen closer.

A role for Boggs with the squad in 2012 is not clear.

However, what is clear is the fact that Boggs is a 6-4, 215-pound right-hander with a 98-mph fastball and a nasty slider.

He has spent the last three seasons being transitioned into the Cardinal pitching staff after success at the Triple-A level.

Originally the Cardinals saw Boggs as a starting pitcher. However, last year he settled in as a reliever at the major league level.

In the major leagues Boggs has a 9-11 record with a 4.34 ERA with the Cardinals, starting 15 games and recording four saves. He has 159 strikeouts in 235 major-league innings.

He pitched in 51 games for the Cardinals in 2011, all in relief, helping the squad win the World Series.

He will turn 28 during the 2012 campaign and is hoping to impress first-year Manager Mike Matheny this spring.

Boggs was in Rolla as part of the Cardinal Caravan earlier this month. The Daily News sat down with him to talk about last year's amazing championship run as well as his future.

Q: Has it sunk in yet that you guys are world champions?
A: I think as we get older, it's something that we'll come to be real proud of. Now it's still a whirlwind.

Q: At what point in the season did you think, 'We can win this thing'?
A: After game 162 (of the regular season). I think we came together the end of August, after a tough stretch. And the guys played really well down the stretch.

Q: With Tony La Russa retiring as manager and Dave Duncan leaving as pitching coach, how do you think the team will respond to the new look?
A: It would be different if they were bringing in new coaches and new players. But that's not happening here. (Matheny and new pitching coach Derek Lilliquist) are very familiar with the players and the way things are done here. It will be exciting.

Q: Have you been told what role Matheny and Lilliquist have planned for you on the staff this season?
A: I haven't been told anything. I don't know what to expect. I'm coming to camp ready to go and to pitch to my capabilities. If I do that I think my talent will take care of itself.

Q: Do you prefer being a starter or a reliever?
A: Our (starting) rotation is set. I feel I can be a weapon out of the bullpen.

Q: How important is the return of Adam Wainwright from Tommy John surgery to the starting rotation?
A: Huge. It's big for the entire club. Waino is a guy our whole clubhouse respects. He goes out there every fifth day and gives us a chance to win and he works as hard as anybody I know.


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