When Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced at the end of the season Trevor Rosenthal would begin 2014 as the closer that came as no surprise to Jason Motte. The former NL saves leader heard the news from Matheny shortly before.
Rosenthal’s dominance at the end of the postseason combined with Motte still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery made it an easy call. Now, Motte says he’s much more concerned with making sure he is healthy so he can contribute at some point rather than getting his old job back closing games.
“It all happens for a reason,” Motte said. “It’s going to be what it’s going to be. I’ve been working my butt off to get myself back out there and be productive and help the ball club win. That’s my goal and that’s what the whole plan is.”
Motte is not expected to be 100% by the start of spring training. Not even close in fact. He may not even be ready by Opening Day.
“It won’t be a normal spring training,” Motte said. “It’s just doing something more one day from the last. The other thing is you don’t want to rush it. We have some pretty good guys down there (in the bullpen) so they’re not really hurting.”