(BasbeballStL) - In the end, baseball is a bottom line business. In fact, one of my favorite lines from former manager Tony La Russa is “either you do or you don’t”. That’s what their jobs come down to.
You either do your job or you don’t do your job.
And right now Trevor Rosenthal is doing his. So can you really complain? The Cards closer is tied for 3rd in Major League Baseball with 26 saves (just one behind Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers and Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for first). He’s blown just three save opportunities all year long.
Yet something just isn’t right with him. It’s hard to really put a finger on it because, again, you can’t really complain about someone who’s getting the job done…even if it’s on the ugly side at times.
Rosenthal’s peripheral numbers are okay. He has a 3.35 ERA and 51 strike outs in just over 40 innings pitched this season. Yet something’s amiss. Maybe it’s the 24 walks, the 1.34 WHIP and the heaps of trouble he’s finding himself in on occasion.
It almost feels a lot like Ryan Franklin in 2010 when he was teetering on the edge night in and night out. I’m not comparing the two guys in any way as pitchers – they’re far from similar in talent and style – but the route to getting saves seems awful similar.
Rosenthal’s velocity also hasn’t really been there as much this year as it has in years past. You’d almost always see him in the upper 90s and often times hitting 100 mile an hour. Now, you’re lucky to see him hit 98 mph just once.
He’s often sitting in the 95-96 range. That’s good. But it’s not what Trevor Rosenthal is supposed to be doing.
We learned a lot about how Mike Matheny views the team’s other options at closer Friday night when the Marlins had the bases loaded and no one out and the Cards nursing just a one run lead. Not a sole in the bullpen – not former NL saves leader Jason Motte – was up and getting loose.
That was Rosenthal’s show to either save or lose. He is the only one Matheny trusted at that time. So it’s not like there’s an organizational concern that their closer is on the verge of losing his job. Again, he can’t be because he’s getting the saves, no matter how ugly they may be.
But it’s worth noting he’s not nearly as dominant as he once was. And it’s worth keeping any eye on in the future.