ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Trevor Rosenthal is back in action for the Cardinals Monday. The team announced the former closer has been activated off the 10-day disabled list prior to the series opener with the Washington Nationals.
Rosenthal, who was stretched out this spring to be able to pitch multiple innings, struggled with right lat discomfort a few times during spring training. The Cardinals placed him on the DL before the start of the season when he suffered a recurrence of the strain and called up righty Sam Tuivailala to join the Opening Day roster.
With Rosenthal activated, Tuivailala was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Rosenthal’s increased workload was a point of interest this spring, especially as his new role allowed him to showcase a more well-rounded pitch repertoire. In addition to his high-level fastball and changeup, the 26-year-old debuted a sharp, power breaking ball to compliment his slower, deeper curve.
He threw 10 innings in spring ball, striking out 11 and posting an ERA of 1.80. Last season, inconsistency and injury saw him removed from his closer position, with new addition Seung Hwan Oh stepping in to fill the role. Oh posted 19 saves with an ERA of 1.92, striking out 5.72 hitters to every one he walked and finishing sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
He began 2017 as the incumbent closer, with Rosenthal pegged as a versatile “super reliever;” a high-leverage arm who can be deployed in any situation and for multiple innings if need be.
The Cardinal bullpen has been porous through six games, allowing 13 earned runs in 17 innings of work (6.75 ERA). Rosenthal’s addition could improve their fortunes, as his elite fastball and improved offspeed pitches offer a skill set not yet deployed in later innings.