Cardinals' Ryan Franklin Loses Job As Closer

It's official: After roughly 48 hours of speculation, Ryan Franklin has been removed as the St. Louis Cardinals' closer.

From USA Today:

Manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday that changing Franklin's responsibilities might help the 38-year-old right-hander get back on track. He didn't say who might replace Franklin in the ninth, but the top candidate probably is Mitchell Boggs.

Somewhat amazingly, Franklin has blown four save opportunities this season after converting 27 of 29 opportunities last season. Franklin has blamed his failures on poor pitch selection, and the numbers suggest he is throwing the same pitches this year as last year. And of course almost anything can happen in 4-2/3 innings, the grand sum of Franklin's action so far.

Boggs does seem the top candidate to replace Franklin, if only because he throws more strikes than Jason Motte and has more experience than rookie Eduardo Sanchez. But Boggs' career does not suggest he'll hold the job for long, and Franklin figures to get his old job back if he thrives in middle relief.

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