St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal sees the crowded bullpen as required competition in 2016.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny talked a lot about competition in his media session, but one of the guys he knows has a defined role in 2016 is closer Trevor Rosenthal. The 25 year old pitcher took the podium before the media on Monday afternoon to address the competitive nature of the bullpen, whether he can be a leader in the pen and owning the single season saves leader mark.
On his offseason program, Rosenthal refers to it as an evolving method rather than a set one. “Become more seasoned in the game and find more rest. Taking more time each year. I look at spring training as the most active time to prepare.”
Rosenthal hasn’t allowed the Cardinals saves record get to him just yet. “I haven’t had a whole lot of time to let it sink in. Being on that list is special. The focus is based on the process right now.”
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Rosenthal addressed the edge that his team may have acquired, he thinks the team doesn’t need it. “We naturally have an edge. Matt Carpenter is a great example. I am not sure he could have more of an edge.”
The bullpen got young this offseason, and Rosenthal embraces the idea that some guys need to step up. “That core group that we have need to step up and take responsibility for what we want this bullpen to look like.”
I asked Rosenthal about Matheny naming him as the one defined piece of a strong bullpen and he flipped it into a group mentality. “We like to push each other. It’s nice to have that competitive nature in the pen and on the team.”
Rosenthal can’t enter one of these rooms without getting asked or talking about the starting itch he has. “The itch to start comes from wanting to help my team and knowing I may not have a shot to help them every night.”
Rosenthal has 93 saves the past two seasons. He’s the solidified closer for a World Series contending team that suddenly has a chip on their shoulder going into a season where the National League Central Division begins as a three team battle. According to Rosenthal, it’s just another chance to get back to the big game because he didn’t have any fun watching other teams play deep into the playoffs.
“My wife would put it on and I’d say no and not watch it. And then I’d watch it. It was hard because I thought about what we would do if we were there.”
In 2016, let’s hope Rosenthal doesn’t spend October fighting with his wife over the remote.