St. Louis Cardinals: Trevor Rosenthal’s Effectiveness Wearing Off
Not a season goes by where the St. Louis Cardinals don’t seem to have a closer issue. This season is no different as their closer is not as effective as we’re used to.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ talented closer Trevor Rosenthal has blown yet another game. As last night was one of the worst losses the Cardinals have had all season long. On top of that, the Chicago Cubs got back to their winning ways beating the Miami Marlins 5-4 and extending their lead to 10.5 games.
On the surface, the stats aren’t that concerning for the young flamethrower. In 29 games so far this season, he has closed 14 games, owns a record of 2-3 with an ERA of 5.63. However, upon further review, Rosenthal is not having a great season.
As if the 5.63 ERA wasn’t enough concern, Rosenthal is struggling with acquiring base runners. This season, Rosenthal is walking 7.88 batters per nine innings and is allowing hitters to hit at a .292 average. On top of all of this, Rosenthal has a 21.4%.
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Last night saw a little bit of everything that Rosenthal is struggling with, as he allowed a lead-off double that in his defense was very nearly foul. However, it was due to Rosenthal leaving fastball up yet again.
When I started looking into the data, I thought that Rosenthal was simply having some bad luck this year. This is definitely not the case as Rosenthal has not had a good season so far. Gone are the days when a Rosenthal ninth inning entrance was all but an assured save.
Fangraphs has a fantastic way of evaluating relievers, as they have come up with the idea of shutdowns and meltdowns. The way they figure this is by looking at the WPA (Win Probability Added) and if the WPA is greater than or equal to +0.06, it qualifies as an SD (Shutdown), but if the WPA is -0.06 or more, it qualifies as an MD (Meltdown).
So far this season, Rosenthal has amassed eight MD and just nine SD in his 29 appearances. In a full season, a great reliever should only accumulate four MD, an excellent reliever would only accumulate two MD and about 35 SD. Last season, Rosenthal accumulated seven MD and 39 SD in his 68 appearances last season.
In 2014, Rosenthal accumulated 13 MD and 37 SD in his first full season as the closer. So, maybe this is more of a norm for Rosenthal than we thought. If this is the case, the Cardinals are going to need to figure out this situation and quick.
Next: Enough is Enough With Rosenthal
Whether that means flipping Seung-hwan Oh or Kevin Siegrist to the closer role and demoting Trevor Rosenthal to mop up and non crucial duties or looking outside the organization for help.
Regsrdless, something needs to happen and it has to happen now as the Cardinals cannot afford to lose any more game because of their bullpen.