St. Louis Cardinals: Five Pitchers That Can Fill The Reyes Sized Hole
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Part of the talks from the St. Louis Cardinals for stretching out Rosenthal involve the possibility of him starting a few games. He would appear to be one of the front runners to give Wacha some competition for the spot. Will he? Probably not, but he will at least get a shot.
A medium likelihood is actually fairly generous. I give him that because he will be stretched out during Spring Training and may get a starting opportunity for the first time since Triple-A in 2012. Because of the hiatus from starting, it will create a learning curve for Rosenthal as a starter in the bigs.
At best, Rosy may be a potential replacement for Wacha, if necessary. Other than that it is hard to project Rosenthal in the rotation come Opening Day. Going from a reliever mindset to a starter mindset for the first time in five years may pose an issue. That being said, in 17 starts in Double-A, he posted a 2.78 ERA going 8-6.
He was called up to Triple-A in 2012 where he started three games with an ERA of 4.20. After that, he was strictly a reliever. It will be a matter of if Rosenthal can find a secondary pitch to compliment his fastball. He was exposed in Triple-A because he can’t just blow fastballs by hitters the second and third time through the lineup.
His usage of his fastball since breaking into the majors is 77.3 percent. That is way too high for a starter. Carlos Martinez has an average fastball velocity two MPH slower than Rosy, and only throws his fastball 60 percent of the time.
There are glaring issues with Rosenthal taking a starting role, and he will more than likely be an extended middle relief role. But if Gonzales doesn’t come back at the top of his game, and Wacha is not getting the job done, Rosenthal will possibly be given a shot to prove he can start.