Rosenthal on the move to extend his career good luck my friend…..
The Nationals are “finalizing” a contract with free agent right-hander Trevor Rosenthal, according to Bob Nighengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Terms of the prospective agreement are not yet known.
Rosenthal, a client of the Boras Corporation, recently put on a showcase to exhibit his form after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Evidently, he impressed the Washington brass, who’ll take a shot on the hard-throwing former Cardinals late-inning standby.
While it’s not yet clear just what role will be given to Rosenthal, who’s still just 28 years of age, the report suggests he’ll “anchor the bullpen.” Though southpaw Sean Doolittle figures to have the inside track on the ninth inning, given his outstanding (albeit injury-shortened) 2018 showing, the Nats could certainly use Rosenthal as their top set-up option or perhaps get more creative in their pen usage based upon situations.
The chance at high-leverage innings seems to have been a motivating factor for Rosenthal, who said as much in an interesting recent chat with Rob Rains of STLSportsPage.com. Rosenthal also held true to his stated desire to put pen to paper before the start of November.
Rosenthal’s TJ procedure took place in late August of 2017, so he is now already about 14 months out from the operating table. There’s every reason to think that he’ll be a full go for Spring Training, particularly since he has already shown that he’s capable of working in his customary upper-nineties velocity.
Of course, the real question with Rosenthal has never been one of arm strength. He has at times dealt with control issues, dishing out 5.4 walks per nine in the 2014 season and a hefty 6.5 free passes per nine in 2016. That latter campaign was a rough one for the flamethrower: he also surrendered a whopping .425 BABIP, lost his closing job, and ended the season with a 4.46 ERA.
In camp in 2017, Rosenthal dabbled with a return to a starting role — he functioned in that capacity in the minors, but never in the bigs — but ultimately returned to the St. Louis relief corps. Before going down to a torn UCL, Rosenthal threw 47 2/3 innings of 3.40 ERA ball with a career-high 14.3 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. Rosenthal carried a personal-high 15.9% swinging-strike rate for the season, finding an extra gear as he completely abandoned his curve in favor of his slider.