St. Louis Cardinals: Trevor Rosenthal to have Tommy John

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 16: Trevor Rosenthal
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 16: Trevor Rosenthal /

The St. Louis Cardinals’ right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery effectively ending his 2017 campaign and putting 2018 into serious question.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals placed Trevor Rosenthal on the 60-day DL. Not even a couple of hours later, news broke that Rosenthal will indeed need Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow. Jennifer Langosch reported the right-hander will have the surgery sometime next week.

Rosenthal, placed on the 10-day DL last week, sees his 2017 campaign come to a close. He ends the season with a 3.50 ERA, with seventy-six strike outs, and eleven saves in fifty games. While there were some low moments for the right-hander, the second half of the season couldn’t have been any better.

From July 1st through August 10th, Rosenthal pitched seventeen innings, only allowing a total of two earned runs for a 1.06 ERA. In those same seventeen games, Rosenthal amassed twenty-seven strike outs and only gave up four walks. He held opponents to a .167 batting average.

"Trevor Rosenthal will undergo Tommy John surgery next week.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) August 23, 2017Trevor Rosenthal will undergo Tommy John surgery next week.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) August 23, 2017"

His most impressive game of the second half is none other than July 28th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rosenthal came into the game with the bases loaded in eighth with no outs. Rosenthal proceeded to get the six outs to save a 1-0 win, with four of the six outs via strike outs. It was the best Cardinal Nation had seen Rosenthal in quite some time.

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His surge in the second half for the St. Louis Cardinals was much-needed, considering the enigma the Cardinals have in the bullpen.

After taking over the closer’s role from Seun-hwan Oh, Rosenthal went on to save seven games.

Unfortunately, his season came crashing down when irritation in his elbow flared up in Boston.

The St.Louis Cardinals will undoubtedly miss Rosenthal’s presence in the bullpen, if they haven’t felt it already given these past few days.

While the sting of losing Rosenthal season hurts immediately, we shouldn’t forget the ramifications for next season. Given the lengthy timetable for recovery, Rosenthal is in jeopardy of missing most, if not all, of the 2018 season.

To complicate things even worse, Rosenthal’s contract has one final year of arbitration left (2018). if Rosenthal misses the entire season, he would enter the 2018 off-season as a free agent. Surely teams will want to see how he recovers before throwing any money at him, but it would be risky nonetheless. I hate to say it, but we may have seen Rosenthal’s last pitch as a St. Louis Cardinal.

Next: Cards considering skipping Leake's turn

Now the attention is squarely on St. Louis Cardinals’ GM Mike Girsch and President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak. If the Cardinals plan to contend this season, they may have to kick the tires on a trade. However, they need to do it quick before players become post-season ineligible.