ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL) -- I guess falling 4 and a half games out of 1st place in the National League Central division got management's attention, wouldn't you say?
In a move that underscores what is going wrong right now in St. Louis...the Cardinals have promoted prospect Trevor Rosenthal from AA-Springfield to try and add something (i.e. anything) to this bullpen that's got the 6th worst ERA -- 4.45 -- in all of baseball.
6th worst. For those scoring at home that's 25th out of 30. Guess who's #1 and #2 on that list?
How 'bout Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (2.70 and 2.72, respectively). Or...the 2 teams currently ahead of the Cards in the division.
Need any further proof of what ails this team as we move closer and closer to the home stretch?
Well, before GM John Mozeliak goes out and tries to add anything externally -- well, I suppose he's already signed Brian Fuentes -- he's going to take one more crack at fixing things internally.
And that is bringing up a 22-year old flame thrower who really made his mark on the big league club in spring training and has continued that development in Springfield.
The righty made 17 starts this season covering 94 innings and has amassed a 2.78 ERA and a borderline dominant .202 opponents batting average. Rosenthal K'd up 83 batters as well.
As a 21st round pick of the Redbirds in 2009 out of Cowley County Community College in Kansas it was always assumed he'd end up in the bullpen because of how hard he throws. Rosenthal can juice it up regularly in the mid-90s and has hit the upper 90s before.
Typically, the Cards like to keep their pitching prospects in the starting rotation while in the minor leagues so they can work on all of their pitches and keep them sharp. Then, once they are summoned to St. Louis they can go into the 'pen and use their best stuff.
Not many figured that would happen for Rosenthal this season. Heck, not many thought it'd happen next season. He's only got a half season of Double-A experience after all and hasn't even seen Triple-A.
But Cards fan know full well that you can go straight from AA to the majors and have success as a reliever. Some guy named Kyle McClellan did it in 2008 and was terrific.
It can be done. However, the difference with the McClellan move was that was made on the Cardinals' terms. They were not pressed into anything. They believed he was ready and made the move because they wanted to.
That's not what is happening here. This move is not being made on the Cardinals' terms. It's a reaction to the struggles of the bullpen and thus Rosenthal's talent is needed in St. Louis.
Many believe he's got the talent to be a force for a long time. Well, the Lee's Summit native is going to get his chance to show it much sooner than most expected.