Trevor Rosenthal, former closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, placed on the DL July 26
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
On June 26, this season, the St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny informed closer Trevor Rosenthal that, basically, he would be losing his job as their ninth inning specialist. On June 24, he had his third blown save giving up three earned runs in the Cardinals 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Rosenthal, in 2014 with 45saves/87 SO for a 3.20 ERA. In 2015 had 48 saves, second best in the National League, with a 2.10 ERA/83 SO. He had provided a lot of "Rosey" drama; but, would settle in and take care of business. However, in 2014 he had six blown saves; and, 2015, three blown saves. His overall performance in those respective seasons out weighed the losses given up. Not so much in our current season with a 5.13 ERA/48 SO/14 saves. Granted, the save situations were not as plentiful for the young closer this season. Even though retired as closer, he was kept in the bullpen being used as mid-inning relief. On July 15, he was called upon to close against the Miami Marlins. He added his fourth blown save, with one earned run allowed, for the 7-6 loss with only .01 IP.
Throughout his struggles in the first half of this season, the Cardinals contended it was just a slump with his elevated ERA. Rosenthal was working to regain his control and command. His mechanics were off which was certainly obvious to all of Cardinals Nation. Players had been sent down to Memphis Triple-A to work on their "mechanics", why not Rosenthal?
On July 26, Rosenthal was placed on the 15-Day DL with reported shoulder inflammation. Specifically, right rotator cuff inflammation. More recently, by Rosenthal's own admission; and, a further diagnosis, he's dealing with a "pretty significant" right flexor strain. A forearm situation which could explain the inflammation in his shoulder. However, his situation definitely explains no command or control of his pitches. At this point, after receiving an injection into his shoulder this past week, rest is the key to healing, which is what he has been doing and will continue to do so.
ROSENTHAL TO REHAB
He could begin a throwing program as soon as this week. However, according to Rosenthal, it will be a "wait and see" situation. I'm sure he will be re-evaluated before he begins his rehab. As was the case with Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, placed on the 15-Day DL May 14 with elbow inflammation, did not return until June 22. I don't expect to see Rosenthal returning until the end of August; or, first of September at the earliest.
REPLACEMENT CLOSER FOR ROSENTHAL
Currently closing duty went to Seung Hwan Oh. The 34 year old relief pitcher was signed by the Cardinals this off-season, a Korean native, and new to the States. He holds a 2.06 ERA/72 SO with nine saves. Also, he has had two blown saves this season. His first was May 7. His second was August 2, giving up three earned runs in his 1.1 IP, to hand the Cincinnati Reds a 7-5 three-run home run walk-off win. Oh had been called up in the bottom of the eighth for .01 IP. He had one strikeout and a double play to close the inning and hold the Cardinals 5-4 lead. That game created extreme outrage by some Cardinals fans, "Matheny's decision to keep him in for the ninth inning." Oh had the last at-bat in the top of the ninth, bases loaded by the Cardinals, leaving three stranded. We all learned from that game, Oh is not a hitter. In my opinion, Matheny's decision was totally unfair to Oh and to the team. So whether it's drama by "Rosey"; or, Oh, a detrimental losses have been realized.
SEUNG HWAN "THE FINAL OUT" OH, I will say, overall, has been impressive.
The Cardinals begin another home stand today hosting the Cincinnati Reds for three games. I'm sure Oh, if needed, will look to right his last performance against them.