Player Spotlight: Trevor Rosenthal
This season the bullpen has been nothing short of a disaster, also it has been quite the carousel. Though the set-up and closer positions seem to be locked in with solid performances from Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, all other relievers have been struggling and battling to try to keep their positions in the pen. Late last night the news broke via twitter from B.J. Rains, that the Cardinals were going to call up one of their top pitching prospects, Trevor Rosenthal to help stabilize the ailing pen. Is he the man for the job? I think so and here is why:
Rosenthal, 22, a Missouri native (born in Lee Summit) was drafted by the Cardinals in the 21st round of the 2009 draft. He has posted good numbers in all four different levels that he has pitched in, but by far in a way his best season has been the 2012 season for class AA Springfield. Rosenthal really became a top prospect after an amazing spring training where he showed that his stuff might be able to match Shelby Miller, if not surpass him. In five spring training games, Rosenthal went seven innings, striking out five and allowing just one run. He really impressed sports writers and scouts a like with his stuff, many were saying he had the stuff to be a top starter or a star closer.
This season at the age of 22, Rosenthal made the jump to the Springfield Cardinals where he immediately became the teams Ace. In 17 starts with Springfield, Rosenthal has a 8-6 record, 2.76 ERA, 83 K’s, 37 BB’s, in 94 innings pitched. His 7.9 k/9 innings is down compared to his 9.9 K.9 innings that he posted just a year before, however is 6.4 h/9 is an improvement from his 8.3 h/9 that he posted a year before.
For his career in the minor leagues which spans across parts of four seasons, Rosenthal has very solid numbers. Across 63 games, 45 of those have been starts, he has a 22-14 record and a modest 3.50 ERA. He also has 272 strikeouts and 93 walks in 270.1 innings. Giving him a 9.1 K/9 and 3.1 K/9 for his career.
Though Rosenthal has started nearly his entire professional career he is being called into a role similar to that of Lance Lynn and Mitchell Boggs in years past. There is a chance that Rosenthal may end up spending his career as a closer or maybe even a starter, but for now it is to focus on the here and now. I think though this might be a risky move, Rosenthal could be just like Lance Lynn a year ago if not better. His high velocity and just pure stuff, makes him a strong weapon out of the pen. His only downside is his youth and inexperience but as we have learned in the past that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will struggle in the majors. I think Rosenthal will be a huge key to the second half and trust me we need all the help we can get out of our horrible bullpen. The Cardinals added Brian Fuentes who is expected to join the team in two weeks, and there has been rumors that the Cardinals are interested in adding a right handed reliever like Huston Street. Another possibility is that the Cardinals could add a starter and then move either Joe Kelly or Lance Lynn to the bullpen, but according to Ken Rosenthal the Cardinals have turned their focus to acquiring a reliever instead.