Daily Dish: June15
Cardinals righthander Mitch Boggs flirts with perfection
See also: Wednesday's Daily Dish
See also: Baseball America Prospect Report
High Class A Palm Beach righthander Mitch Boggs was perfect through eight innings Wednesday--racking up 11 strikeouts along the way--until Jupiter's J.T. Restko broke up the bid with a single to lead off the ninth.
"I definitely had an idea of what I was doing out there (in regards to a perfect game)," Boggs said. "It definitely was quieter in the dugout as the game went along.
"I could tell there was a buzz in the ballpark as I went out for the ninth."
Even with the added excitement, Boggs was able to keep his focus. "Immediately after the hit, my focus continued to be on winning the ball game tonight, as we're in a playoff race," he said. "I didn't want them to pick up anything else."
Despite topping out at 94 mph as a reliever at Georgia, the electric-armed Boggs lasted until the fifth round of 2005 draft. The Cardinals relied on their scouts' assessments more than numbers when selecting Boggs because the junior struggled to throw strikes in a mediocre draft year. He had been a key bullpen component to the 2004 Bulldogs team that went to Omaha after taking a detour in his college baseball career to give football a try. He spent one semester playing at Division I-AA Chattanooga.
While the football foray set his baseball career back a bit, Boggs is quickly making up for lost time. Boggs is 5-3, 3.57 in 13 starts this season, with 57-26 strikeout-walk ratio in 63 innings. He's allowed only one earned run in his last three starts, however, spanning 22 innings. Perhaps most encouragingly, he has walked just three in that stretch.
Still, there's nothing like a perfect game bid.
"It was special tonight because my parents are in town from Dalton, Georgia," Boggs said, "and it's nice to send them home with something like this."
More Than Just So-So
After battling serious injuries over the last two seasons, the Braves Jo-Jo Reyes has returned to the form that made him a supplemental first-round pick in 2003. Last night, he pitched low Class A Rome to within one game of the South Atlantic League Northern Division first-half title.
The lefthander threw a seven-inning complete-game shutout in the first game against second-place Augusta as the Braves prevailed 2-0. He allowed six hits while striking out six and walking two. Augusta had its chances as GreenJackets stranded six runners in scoring position over the first five innings, but Reyes emerged unscathed and breezed through the final two innings by allowing just one baserunner.
"I was able to bear down in some key spots," Reyes told the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune. "My fastball was working, so I kept going to it. I'm smart enough to know to keep doing what's working."
The 43rd overall pick in 2003 out of Riverside (Calif.) Poly High features a low-90s fastball that appears faster due to his deceptive delivery to go with a curveball and changeup. He also throws a slider, but the Braves have asked him to concentrate on the other three for now.
After getting shelled for nine runs over 10 innings in his previous two outings, Reyes improved his record to 8-1, 2.99 with his performance last night. Reyes missed 2004 to recover from Tommy John surgery and then tore his anterior cruciate ligament during instructional league last fall. Finally healthy, he has proven to be a vital cog of a Rome club on the verge of a postseason birth.
"He's been our horse all year, and he came through again in a big way today," manager Randy Ingle told the paper.
• A flurry of callups took place Wednesday, as Phillies righthander Scott Mathieson, Padres righthander Jared Wells, Mariners first baseman Bryan LaHair, Blue Jays lefthander Davis Romero, Devil Rays righthander Juan Salas and Diamondbacks righthander Micah Owings were all promoted. Mathieson makes the biggest jump, heading to the big leagues straight from Double-A Reading. The 22-year-old Canadian will make his major league debut Saturday, pitting him against Devil Rays lefthander Scott Kazmir. "It's a good time to look at him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told the Philadelphia Inquirer. At Reading, Mathieson went 6-2, 3.05 with 95 strikeouts in 86 innings. "I see a big arm," Manuel told the paper. "I see a major league fastball. I see a good breaking ball and a changeup." Wells was called up to Triple-A Portland after going one inning in Double-A Mobile's 5-2 loss at Montgomery. The 31st-round pick in 2002 went 4-3, 2.64 in 61 innings for the BayBears. LaHair heads to Triple-A Tacoma after hitting .293/.371/.428 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 222 at-bats at Double-A San Antonio. Romero and Salas also head to Triple-A, with Romero joining Syracuse and Salas on his way to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Romero, signed out of Panama in 1999, went 6-5, 2.93 in 74 innings at Double-A New Hampshire. Salas, whom the Rays converted from an infielder to the mound in mid-2004, has yet to allow an earned run this season. The 27-year-old righthander went 3-0, 0.00 with 52 strikeouts in 35 innings at Double-A Montgomery. He also chalked up 14 saves. Owings, a third-round pick out of Tulane in 2005, was the other notable callup to Triple-A. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound righthander went 6-2, 2.91 in 74 innings at Double-A Tennessee. He will make his debut for Tucson tonight . . . A direct result of Romero and Wells being called up, the Blue Jays reassigned lefthander David Purcey to New Hampshire, and the Padres placed righthander Cesar Carrillo on the seven-day disabled list for the second time in three weeks with a strained forearm. Carrillo, San Diego's first-round pick out of Miami last year, only made one start at Portland--going just 2 2/3 innings and walking three--after being called up from Double-A. Carrillo flew to San Diego today to examined by team doctors. "We should know more in the next two or three days," Beavers trainer Will Sinon told The Oregonian. "We should have a better understanding of what's going on and what the extent of the injury is, if there even is an injury." As for Purcey, the Jays sent their 2004 first-round pick down to New Hampshire after an awful two-plus months in Triple-A where he went 2-7, 5.40 with a 45-38 strikeout-walk ratio in 52 innings . . . Two clubs made coaching changes yesterday, as Buddy Bailey will take over managerial duties for Don Buford at high Class A Daytona; and Jay Sorg will replace Alonzo Powell as the hitting coach at Triple-A Louisville. Bailey, the Cubs' roving catching instructor, takes over for Buford in Daytona. Buford will head to the Cubs' extended spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., to manage in the Rookie-level Arizona League. "This second half, we're trying to do some things strategically that we think will help and we're trying to move our rovers into a place where they can be more beneficial and helpful to our players," Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita said. "We're really lucky and fortunate to have a guy like Don Buford who's done a lot of things. He has a lot of knowledge and we're going to have him work with our young kids at Mesa and (short-season) Boise." . . . For the third straight day, Triple-A Portland's Paul McAnulty played third base. It was the ninth time this season that McAnulty started at the hot corner, and on Wednesday, he had his best day yet. In addition his only two opportunities in the field, McAnulty went five-for-five at the plate, hitting his ninth home run while raising his June batting average to .434.
Contributing: Chris Kline, Bryan Smith.