WASHINGTON -- A day after another layer of frustration was tacked onto Mitchell Boggs' month, manager Mike Matheny laid out two priorities that will dictate how Boggs will be utilized moving forward.
Of primary importance, Matheny said, is aligning his bullpen so that the Cardinals have the best chance to win each night. Then, there's the simultaneous task of putting Boggs in spots where the right-hander can begin to regain lost confidence. Together, it all indicates that Boggs will be unplugged from late-inning, close-game situations until he can find some positive momentum.
"He's a confident guy overall, but he's had plenty of things that are working against him right now with his confidence," Matheny said. "We have to build him up. I know he's not looking for sympathy from anybody. He's handled it exactly how you'd want him to handle it. But we need to get him right, [and] most of that is just continuing to tell him how much we're going need him and that we're going to support him and get him right and get him back out there in whatever capacity we can to help us."
Boggs entered in the eighth inning of a tie game on Sunday and exited with the Cardinals looking up at a four-run deficit. He has already been plucked out from the closer's role, and Sunday's struggles indicated that putting him right back into an eighth-inning spot -- where he thrived in 2012 -- isn't going to immediately right the wrongs.
In his first 10 appearances this season, Boggs had blown two saves and lost another two games that he had entered with the score tied.
While Matheny hasn't publicly scripted out how he'll order his late-inning relievers, it looks as if he'll primarily stick with Trevor Rosenthal as the eighth-inning setup man, and Edward Mujica as a temporary closer. That will seemingly leave early-inning and low-leverage opportunities for Boggs to take.
"You continue to emphasize that we trust that he can get the job done," Matheny said. "I think there is a little bit of doubt. Every outing he gets is going to get him closer to who he was last year. We just have to figure out how to put him in situations that are going to be the best for us."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less