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Trevor Rosenthal: VEB 2016 Projections

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VEB Projections Project

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers and catchers reported yesterday which means the season of seeing pictures of baseball men throwing a baseball is upon us.  In fact, here are some pictures here and here.  One of the baseball men likely to be tossing around a baseball is Trevor Rosenthal.  Rosenthal has been an integral member of the Cardinals' relief core since 2013, and Joe Schwarz noted at the beginning of this month that Rosenthal has been the eighth most valuable relief pitcher by fWAR during this span.

Rosenthal's production didn't go unnoticed in 2015.  First, he was stupidly criticized by a lone, loud voice on Twitter for taking a few days of paternity leave when he and his wife welcomed another daughter into the world.  And second, he rebounded from a down year in 2014 and was one of the best relievers in baseball and made his first All-Star Game.  Here's a look at his 2015 stats:

Name

Team

G

IP

K/9

BB/9

SV

ERA

FIP

WAR

Trevor Rosenthal

Cardinals

68

68.2

10.88

3.28

48

2.1

2.42

2

You'd think a pitching line like that would put a closer in good graces with fans but that's not always the case.  You haven't experienced high-anxiety until you hang around Cardinals Twitter when Rosenthal is trying to close out a game in the 9th.  The second Rosenthal misses Yadi's glove everything starts boiling over.

DON'T YOU EVEN THINK OF BLOWING THIS GAME!

WHY CAN'T THINGS EVER BE EASY?!

[Cardinals win the game.]

WHEW!!!!

[Cycle repeats the following night.]

Fair or not, this is a reputation Rosenthal carried with him from 2014 when it seemed he almost always secured the final out with runners on base.  People weren't imagining things, the first batter Rosenthal faced in his appearances in 2014 hit .323/.403/.435.   In 2015, those numbers improved to the line of .210/.279/.323 and, per above, Rosenthal finished with a franchise-record 48 saves.  His strikeout rate improved slightly in 2015 and, more important, he improved on his ghastly 13.6 BB% in 2014.  Save for two meltdowns in Pittsburgh just before the All-Star break, Rosenthal was as steady as can be asked from a closer.

Heading into 2016, the Cardinals' bullpen is in solid shape.  Jonathan Broxton and Seung-Hwan Oh will hopefully help Kevin Siegrist and Seth Maness preserve any lead handed to them late in the game, and any production from Jordan Walden will be seen as a plus.  If Rosenthal can pick up where he left off that will be the icing on the cake.

Here is Rosenthal's player page at FanGraphs as well as the Cardinals 2016 ZiPS projections.

But you tell us, how do you think Rosenthal will do this year?  Please provide your thoughts below.

Editor's Note: I created the form so that all pitcher forms are identical. You see starts there for Rosenthal. Presumably you will enter 0 for Rosenthal. All the starters will have saves. This makes the data easier to collect. Thank you for your understanding. I did not include games/appearances because innings should suffice for these projections. Thanks.

And in case you missed them:

Matt Carpenter 2016 Projections

Jhonny Peralta 2016 Projections