Motte comfortable with new role -

Motte comfortable with new role

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

(BaseballStL) -- After saving 5 postseason games in 2011, including the World Series  clincher, Jason Motte was entrenched as the Cardinals closer. The following season he saved a National League high 42 games. But last March, Motte blew out his arm in spring training, needed Tommy John surgery, and missed the entire season. Motte expects to be back this season, but his old job as closer,now belongs to Trevor Rosenthal.

“They don’t know it, but I’m still competing for a starting spot,” joked Rosenthal. “I’m just kidding. I’m exciting. It was cool when Mike (Matheny) announced that when the season was over, to give me time to prepare for it. It’s exciting.”

Motte was aware the move was coming. “Mike actually called me,” said Motte. “He wanted me to hear it from him instead of someone calling me up and saying ‘Hey, Trevor’s the closer. You guys want to start some stuff?” 

Despite the old adage that says a player shouldn’t lose his job because of an injury, Motte says he understands completely why the Cardinals are going in this direction. Motte still isn’t back to 100 percent. He’s going to begin throwing this week in Florida, but he’s not sure when he’ll be able to be ready to crank up one of his 98 mile an hour fastballs.

Rosenthal was routinely throwing 100 miles an hour last October. He has a streak of 20 1/3rd scoreless postseason innings, and a good relationship with his one of his mentors, Jason Motte. 

“We’re both just here to help the team win,” said Rosenthal. “When you look at our team we have so much good pitching. There’s going to be a different guy everyday.”

“All the young guys we have last year, and we’ve got some other guys this year,” said Motte. “I just need to take my time and get where I’m healthy so I can help the team win.” 

A healthy Jason Motte, along with Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, Randy Choate and Kevin Seigrist, could give the Cardinals one of the best bullpens they’ve ever had. 

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