clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Trevor Rosenthal is the Cardinals closer right now - A Hunt and Peck

Fans are calling for change and maybe they are right!

Scott Kane/Getty Images

Shortly after his call up in 2012, Trevor Rosenthal has nearly been a fixture in the back of the Cardinals bullpen. During that time he has found much success, propelled by an upper nineties fastball that can touch 100 miles per hour and an at times devastating and hilarious-swing inducing changeup. Since 2013, Rosie has been one of the best relievers in the Cardinals organization. Trevor is not without his flaws, however. His walk rate is too high and for what ever reason - bad luck, inconsistent command, some other third thing -  his batting average allowed on balls in play has been above average every season of his career. These flaws have been incredibly apparent in 2016 to the point where many have called for Rosie's removal as the Cardinals closer despite the fact his strikeouts per nine innings is currently the highest of his career.  It is a conundrum. Sometimes Rosie looks unhittable while other times he is... not. He gets hit - he gets hit hard. Per Paul Swydan of Fangraphs:

Because walks aren't Rosenthal's only issue. He's also allowing drastic career highs in both home-run rate per fly ball (HR/FB) and BABIP — 20% and .412, respectively.  Rosenthal's hard-hit rate (Hard%) also is easily the worst of his career. He's recorded a 37.7% Hard% right now, and he's never before been higher than 27.4%. Sometimes, it's not really bad luck. Sometimes, you're just getting smoked.

Rosenthal is rocking the same Contact% he did last year, and he's still striking out plenty of hitters — even more than last year, actually. But he's no longer as adept at making hitters take the bat off their shoulders.

If the Cardinals weren't sweating every single game in pursuit of a Wild Card berth or if they didn't have a viable alternative, you might be tempted to let him figure this out all on his own, or maybe just give him a few days off from the close's role. But the Cardinals are sweating every game, and they do have a viable alternative in the person of Seung Oh...

Trevor Rosenthal has been at the head of a middling bullpen, and his failure on all fronts this season should lead Mike Matheny to make a change, at least until Rosenthal can figure out how to make hitters swing at his pitches again.

So should the Cardinals make a switch at closer? It is tough to say as Rosenthal's past performance suggests he might regress positively and Seung Hwan Oh has proven to be such a valuable "fireman" reliever that limiting him to closing seems wasteful. The Cardinals probably need to do something, whether that something is  working on mechanics, limiting workload, a duel closer situation, playing matchups, or a full on closer change remains to be seen.

It’s Time for the Cardinals to Shake Up Their Bullpen | FanGraphs Baseball

what else is going on in baseball...

what the cardinals are up to...

the chicago cubs

the nl central

Tweet or e-mail me links @lil_scooter93 or at lil_scooter93 AT msn DOT com!