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Cardinals shift Trevor Rosenthal to the bullpen

Mar 7, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Trevor Rosenthal Reuters

Trevor Rosenthal was competing for the final spot in the Cardinals’ rotation following Chris Carpenter’s injury, but manager Mike Matheny announced that the 22-year-old prospect will be shifted to the bullpen.

Rosenthal was dominant out of the Cardinals’ bullpen down the stretch and into the playoffs last season, but he was a full-time starter in the minors and ranks among the top dozen or so starter prospects in baseball.

Of course, working a young starter into the mix as a reliever initially is fairly common and doesn’t mean the Cardinals don’t view Rosenthal as a long-term piece of their rotation. But in the short term they have the luxury of Joe Kelly and fellow top prospect Shelby Miller as rotation candidates and can see what type of damage Rosenthal is capable of in shorter appearances for a while.

  1. stlsportsfan84 - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Not a big fan of this move. Would’ve rather seen them send him down to Memphis if he didnt win the job and keep starting to log some innings. Then bring him up in the pen in the 2nd half if you want the overpowering arm then. Bullpen should be solid enough that he wont get a ton of innings this way and may end up there forever without a chance to start.

    • johnstjc - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Completely agree…he hasn’t built up enough innings as a starter to move him to the bullpen

  2. okwhitefalcon - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I’m cool with it, they’re going to need all the bullpen help they can get with no innings eaters beyond Wainwright starting.

    I think we’ll see the same thing happen with Miller as well, unless Kelly totally falls flat on his face as spring progresses.

    They’re going to have a game shortening bullpen regardless – all good.

  3. stlouis1baseball - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I am cool with it too. He will offer a great back up plan for Miller (or Kelly)…depending upon who wins the 5th spot. Plus…having a kid throw smoke like he does out of the pen is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal.

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      I think we’re going to see both Kelly and Miller in the rotation soon enough, I don’t think anyone actually believes they won’t get their chance due to injury of (lack of) performance from the Westbrook/Lynn/Garcia trio.

  4. albertmn - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Must be nice to have that abundance of pitching options. As a Twins fan, I have no clue what that must be like.

    • gibbyfan - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Sure hope your perspective is right —potential is there but my feeling is they will miss lohse –Lynn taled off at the end of the season and I doubt he will ever repeat what he did the first half –westbrook is nothing special, garcia is going to be a health question, carp is done and Wainright hasnt gotten back to where he was—-joe Kelly is not that special. Miller and rosenthal have great potential but still developing…………hope I’m wrong cause I love the Cards but see them no better than last year –a long way back hoping for a wild card

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Options creating flexibility are indeed luxuries, no doubt about it.

      Would I feel a bazillion % better about the starting pitching if Carp was Carp and Lohse was retained?

      Oh hell yes.

  5. okwhitefalcon - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Mo Appeared on the Bernie Miklasz show this morning, very candid on:

    – Rosenthal to the pen, Kelly/Miller/Wacha
    – The Furcal situation
    – Kozma prob getting the SS gig, Greg Garcia pushing Ryan Jackson (and from most reports beyond this, passing him and starting SS in Memphis)
    – Taveras prob not breaking camp w/ the big club
    – The perception of the Cards med staff being incompentent boobs

    Worth the time if you’ve got it:

  6. spudchukar - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    This has been a very effective practice for St. Louis. IMHO, Rosenthal is the best of the young prospects the Cards are fortunate to harbor. To be honest I have more faith in Kelly, Rosenthal, and Lynn than I do in Wainwright and Garcia. I hope I am wrong, but last year’s troubles for the duo is worrisome.

    Yes, they both had injury issues, but even when healthy they struggled. From what I have seen from the youngsters, only Miller has had his ups and downs. I am still not sure Lynn isn’t better suited to relief, but he has been successful as a starter.

    What seems to go under appreciated is the health factor. Young, excitable, eager to impress pitchers may error when a minor pain arises, and foolishly try to keep that to themselves. When you are limited to 2 innings every 2nd or 3rd day the risk is minimized, and lately the bullpen first strategy has worked well.

    Westbrook is Westbrook, awesome at times and not so great at others. Still if I had to bet I think the odds are that Wainwright, Garcia, and Westbrook will all revert back to their respective successes, but I still am concerned, which is why a one-year deal with an option for Lohse still makes sense. Westbrook is probably gone after this year, Garcia is here for sometime, and Wainwright is still a question.

    The youngsters are great, but if the above mentioned trio falter, the Cards have little experience to lead their staff, and if all excel all the better if the middle-infield needs to be addressed come June.

    • stlsportsfan84 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      I dont have questions on Waino, he was very solid in the 2nd half and he talked about not getting comfortable in throwing his curve til the 2nd half. Once he got that back, it was lights out.

      Definitely do have the same questions about Garcia, the shoulder may never be the same or it may turn out to be fine, no idea what to expect there.

      • spudchukar - Mar 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        That is not particularly accurate regarding Wainwright. He started the second half very well, but then had numerous rough outings just when it seemed like he had turned the corner.

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