The Cardinals announced that they have placed former closer Trevor Rosenthal on the 15-day DL with what’s being called rotator cuff inflammation. Southpaw Dean Kiekhefer will take his spot on the active roster.
[Related: Updated Cardinals Depth Chart]
It has been an incredibly trying season for Rosenthal, who was previously considered one of the more reliable late-inning arms in baseball. As Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes on Twitter, though, the organization had previously suggested there weren’t any health issues underlying his problems.
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. The 26-year-old is still racking up plenty of strikeouts with an average fastball of about 97 mph, but has coughed up 7.3 free passes per nine innings over his 33 1/3 frames on the season.
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.