St. Louis Cardinals: Should there be a Trevor Rosenthal reunion?

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 5: Trevor Rosenthal
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 5: Trevor Rosenthal /

A St. Louis Cardinals ex-closer has been released by his team and is back on the open market. Should a reunion be in the works?

The St. Louis Cardinals have been grooming the hardest throwing pitcher in the league, Jordan Hicks, to be the closer of the future and while he needs some more seasoning, he has shown how dominant he can be.

Before Jordan Hicks was closer, the last consistent closer the Cardinals had was Trevor Rosenthal.

Rosenthal was drafted by the Cardinals in 2009 all the way in the 21st round and served as another example of the team’s late round successes when he broke into the league in 2012 at the age of 22.

After 19 games in 2012, he served as a setup man for Edward Mujica in 2013 before gaining the full-time closer role in 2014.

As you can see in the chart, he was dominant in his career with the Cardinals and is the record holder for most saves in a season after his 48 save performance in 2015. Unfortunately, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2017 and was let go by the Cardinals following the surgery.

Since then, he clearly not been the same.

His Nationals career was very bad. There’s no silver lining with those numbers, in his first four appearances this year, he didn’t get an out while giving up 7 runs and walking four in those appearances.

Of his 12 total appearances, there were only two where he did not give up a run and finish the inning.

Rosenthal still has his velocity though as he is still averaging 98.4 MPH on his fastball which is just .2 MPH less than what it averaged when he had his best year in 2015. It just seems to be a feel thing for Rosy as he just wasn’t able to get his pitches where he needs them.

On Saturday, the Nationals gave Rosenthal the ball in the seventh inning and he proceeded to walk three and give up three runs. Sunday morning, Rosenthal was released from his one year/$8M deal with the Nationals and is now a free agent which brings us to the big question.

Should the Cardinals take a flier on their old closer?

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This year the Cardinals bullpen has been pretty solid after a rough start and currently rank 7th best in the league by ERA but they can always use reinforcements.

The two Johns of the bullpen, Gant and Brebbia, both rank in the top 17 in innings pitched among all relievers in the sport and both, especially Brebbia, have shown signs of wear and tear because of the usage.

They have both been amazing this year but they will not last the year if they keep being used at the rate they are right now.

Rosenthal won’t cost much and is still just 29 years old. Another chance to get right in the minors and then come up as reinforcements could be all he needs. There’s not really any risk involved.

Tommy John is a tough surgery to come back from and each pitcher can take longer or shorter even if there’s a generally expected time frame.

Next. Treading water until the Trade Deadline. dark

Signing Rosy to a minor league deal and letting him figure his stuff out at Memphis could be a huge under-the-radar addition for the Cardinals. You can never have enough pitching and for a pitcher who is still young and who could potentially revert back to an All-Star level closer, why not?