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Cardinals will keep Trevor Rosenthal in the bullpen

Nov 4, 2013, 6:28 PM EDT

Trevor Rosenthal Reuters

Carlos Martinez will get a chance to compete for a spot in the Cardinals’ rotation next spring, but fellow hard-throwing young right-hander Trevor Rosenthal will remain in the bullpen.

Mike Matheny announced that Rosenthal will enter 2014 as the Cardinals’ closer after thriving in that role down the stretch and into the playoff this year. Overall the 23-year-old rookie threw 87 innings with a 2.28 ERA and 126/23 K/BB ratio in relief.

As we’ve seen with other young starter prospects who immediately thrive as big-league relievers it’s often hard for teams to talk themselves into changing their role following the initial success, but in Rosenthal’s case he was considered a top-50 prospect as a starter coming into 2013 and had an excellent track record in the minors.

Of course, with Michael Wacha already in the rotation and Martinez ready to join him the Cardinals have all kinds of stud young pitching to work with.

  1. triaxfusion - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Probably the right decision but it will be interesting to see where Motte fits into the bullpen.

    • spudchukar - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      Since Motte is still a question mark in 2014, this is the most prudent decision. Rosenthal and his great closer make-up, is a natural. It doesn’t mean he cannot be considered later in 2014, if Garcia fails, or in 2015 if Motte regains his prior success.

      Remember Siegrist is still a starter candidate too. I say the reason for the announcement is to allow Mujica to seek employment elsewhere. His outstanding job in the first 3/4 of the season earns him the chance to move on.

      • paperlions - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        I don’t think Siegrist is really a starter candidate at all. Apparently, his stuff really took a jump when he moved to the bullpen so he could throw all out rather than try to pace himself as a starter. They could try to stretch him out, but they probably won’t for the same reason they are leaving Rosenthal in the pen. The Cardinals have infinitely more information on these guys than anyone else, so it really is hard to judge their decisions….it isn’t like they are going to announce “Rosenthal’s FB loses several MPH and flattens out when he’s a starter so he will remain in a bullpen roll” even if they knew such a thing. If he starts ST in the pen, then he’ll stay there all year because stretching him out would require being sent down to the minors for at least a month as well as work on his secondary pitches.

        Again, they know way more than we do…but I imagine Kelly and Lynn would be fine in the bullpen as their FBs could really play up in those rolls…but they must be better at maintaining the velocity/stuff/delivery as starters than Rosenthal has shown himself to be capable of thus far.

        They have an abundance of riches on the mound….going to be a lot of second guessing as to rolls guys are given since you can’t have 10 starters.

      • stex52 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        No one is even mentioning Shelby Miller, who was outstanding for most of the season.

        And Motte should be back at some point in 2014.

        What are they going to do with all that pitching?

      • paperlions - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        They will have depth. If Gast can come back from his shoulder issue, they also have him and Lyons as viable options.

        No one is mentioning Miller because he is locked into the rotation. He isn’t going anywhere unless they get a crazy good offer (e.g. equal value and equally young/cheap CF/SS or better). His role isn’t changing.

        They’ll trade some of it if they get value and can fill a need. They won’t trade it just because they have a surplus if they don’t get something useful back.

      • spudchukar - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Good point on Gast. His minor league stats were off the chart in 2013, and he pitched well in his brief healthy Big League call-up, although he did have trouble the 3rd time around vs the opponents line-up, hardly a rookie anomaly.

        I’m not as sure as you about Miller though. I was pretty sure Lynn would be moved in a trade for a SS, but if it takes Miller, and if the SS they get back is special then I could see them moving him.

      • paperlions - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Dang it….I had a good reply all typed out and auto-refresh killed it.

        Anyway, as I mentioned above, I think they would move him for a special player, but by himself Miller wouldn’t be enough for a Profar/Lindor type SS because such players are so much more rare than a pitcher like Miller.

        Now that FA is here, I am really hopeful that the Cardinals will do something aggressive….specifically, go after Ellsbury. He would help this team is a LOT of ways….well….if he can stay healthy.

        I am hopeful that they can upgrade at SS and at CF while just spending money or trading their pitching depth.

      • spudchukar - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        As I was typing that it had happened to me earlier today, it happened again. I don’t have time to redo long posts and it pisses me off to no end.

        I agree Miller probably won’t be enough by himself, but I still believe SS is a more pressing need than CF. A Jay/Robinson/Taveras alternative is a better bet than Kozma/Descalso/Jackson one.

      • stex52 - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Nor should they, Paper. There is no such thing as too much starting pitching when you hit the doldrums and injuries in August. But they will have to figure out someplace to put all those bodies. They can’t stash them at AAA much longer.

      • spudchukar - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        While Siegrist is the least likely to move to the rotation, the idea isn’t crazy, especially if Garcia and Gast both don’t recover, and their issues are similar, shoulder rather than the more likely recoverable TJ surgery.

        And while Siegrist has shown secondary pitches his command of those isn’t always ideal. Most likely he will remain in the pen as the anti-Loogy cause he can get righties out too.

        Sure is fun to have so many options so we can opine in so many directions.

  2. ghstmnnfrst - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    This is disappointing.

    I understand the reasoning behind the conservative decision, but I personally would have rather seen him get shot at the rotation.

  3. cohnjusack - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Sigh…

    Perhaps if he hadn’t done so well in the bullpen he would have a shot at starting. Oh baseball logic, how I don’t understand thee sometimes.

  4. missingdiz - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    I don’t understand this, either. Motte has always been a reliever, and he was an excellent closer in 2012. You can’t trade him for much until he proves he’s still the same pitcher. But he’s still young and probably will bounce back fine. So, why not give Rosenthal a shot at starting?

    • Kevin Gillman - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Asdrubral Cabrera and someone else for Motte and a lower Minor Leaguer?

      • missingdiz - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        If we could have the 2009 Cabrera, sure. If it’s the 2013 Cabrera, might as well go with Kozma/Descalso and save some money.

      • Kevin Gillman - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        Either way, I think Cabrera is going to rebound in 2014, no matter what team he is on. He also finished the season off very well, and helped the Indians get to the playoffs in September. Either way, Francisco Lindor will be ready to take over SS in 2015. If Cabrera stays with Indians, I think he will make All-Star team again.

  5. gibbyfan - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Motte can prove himself soon enough if they put him back in the pen. If they haven’t fixed ss by then they can re evaluate……….Cabrera is not the answer—you need great defense at that position.

  6. brianmark1970 - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Reblogged this on Brian's Hobbies.

  7. albertmn - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    And, that’s not even mentioning Shelby Miller. Must be a nice problem to have.

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