DENVER -- Mitchell Boggs has gone from being counted on in the Cardinals' bullpen at the start of the season to hoping to be a force against them this week.
Boggs struggled with the Cardinals (0-3, 11.05 ERA, 2-for-4 in save opportunities during a brief trial as closer) before being sent to Triple-A Memphis, then being traded to the Rockies for an international signing bonus slot on July 9. Boggs spent most of his Rockies time at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but has posted a 3.86 ERA in five Major League appearances entering Tuesday's game against his former team.
Boggs pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Cardinals, allowing one hit and one walk.
The Rockies need to evaluate Boggs, 29, to see where he fits in the future. Manager Walt Weiss said Boggs profiles as a late-inning reliever and there is opportunity. What Boggs does in the final days of this season could help with the evaluation. The possibility of him having a chance to prove himself against his old club -- one he helped win the 2011 World Series -- intrigues him.
"I would be lying if it wasn't a little bit weird seeing those guys, but at the same time you want to get out there and compete," said Boggs, who said he remains in close contact with Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook. "I want to get out there and do my job. It's part of the game.
"I try to stay in touch with those guys as best I can, but we're all busy. They're certainly in the middle of a pennant race. Those guys were great teammates and good friends. It won't change."
Boggs has thrown scoreless ball in all but one of his Rockies appearances. He was touched for two runs in his last appearance, when he gave up two hits, including an Aaron Hill leadoff homer, at Arizona on Saturday. Boggs realizes the Rockies have to look at a lot of pitchers during this expanded roster period, but he must be ready to excel.
"That's how September is, you just stay sharp as best you can and when you get the opportunity, take advantage of it." Boggs said. "I certainly think there are positives to build on. That's my focus. I feel I'm capable of getting the job done.
"I certainly would like to put myself in the picture for next year. They told me they're going to give me an opportunity to do that. That's all I can ask."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.