Whats going on with Rosenthal

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Today the Cardinals announced the following roster moves prior to today’s doubleheader in New York vs. the Mets. The team has placed right-handed pitcher Trevor Rosenthal on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation (rotator cuff).  Dean Kiekhefer has been recalled from Memphis (AAA) to take Rosenthal’s spot on the 25-man roster.

Rosenthal, 26, has gone 2-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 40 games this season.  After a 2.11 ERA (4ER / 17IP) in April and May combined, Rosenthal has allowed 15 ER in June and July (16.1 IP). 

Kiekhefer made his Major League debut on May 14 at Los Angeles Dodgers and has pitched in 11 games with St. Louis this year.  He has allowed runs in just three of those outings (7ER/11.0 IP).  At Memphis, he is 4-1 with two saves and a 2.00 ERA (6ER/27.0IP) in 23 relief outings.

Righthander Sam Tuivailala will be recalled to serve as the club’s 26th man, available for the second game of today’s double header.  Tuivailala pitched 2.0 innings in three relief appearances with St. Louis in July, and has 15.2 innings (16 gms, 9 ER) in the Majors between 2014 and ’15 with St. Louis.

Regardless of whether this is something of a phantom DL stint or a reflection of a real issue, the down time can’t hurt Rosenthal.

As things stand, the Cards are headed for some surprisingly tough calls on a player who had entered the year with a lifetime 2.66 ERA. Keeping him on the active roster in the midst of such struggles seemed a difficult ask for an organization that is trying to compete for a playoff spot, though there has to be at least some hope of getting him straightened out to contribute down the stretch. But even beyond that, there will ultimately be a point at which the club has to decide whether to tender Rosenthal a contract for 2017. He’ll be due a not-insignificant raise an his already-stout $5.6MM salary, and that’s no sure thing at this point in time.

At this point, the DL placement doesn’t have much of an impact on the team’s deadline plans beyond the fact that it clears an opening for an eventual roster move. St. Louis has long been seeking late-inning relief help, and that remains the case with August 1st fast approaching.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals/MLB Traderumors

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