TODAY: A surgical approach is on the table for Rosenthal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Twitter. Rosenthal is set to receive a second opinion on how best to deal with the “stability of his ligament,” per the report.
It certainly sounds as if a Tommy John procedure is at least a possibility. Even if it isn’t ultimately pursued, a rehab course for UCL damage typically involves a fairly lengthy rest and rehab program. Were Rosenthal to require TJ surgery, he’d almost certainly be non-tendered this fall; 2018 is his final season of arbitration eligibility. And avoiding the knife would still seemingly leave it uncertain whether he’ll be able to return this season.
YESTERDAY: The Cardinals have placed reliever Trevor Rosenthal on the 10-day DL with what the team is calling right posterior elbow irritation, per an announcement. Young righty Luke Weaver has been recalled to take his spot on the active roster.
Rosenthal had recently regained the team’s closer role, turning in quality results as the Cards surged in the standings. But the hard-throwing righty left last night’s outing after exhibiting diminished velocity, with indications at the time that he was experiencing tightness in his pitching arm.
The 27-year-old hurler has turned in a bounceback year after a rough 2016 campaign that was marred by arm problems. Through 47 2/3 innings to date, he carries a 3.40 ERA and has racked up 14.3 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. Rosenthal has not only reversed last year’s walk problems, but has worked at a career-high 98.9 mph and generated a personal-best 15.9% swinging-strike rate.
While any elbow problems are of concern, the outlook on Rosenthal remains unclear at this point. Certainly, the Cardinals will hope that he can recover after a relatively brief DL stint and return to the pen down the stretch.
After all, St. Louis remains in the hunt for the NL Central title and it’s a difficult time to find a quality replacement via trade. The team could return Seung-hwan Oh to closing duties, give lefty Tyler Lyons a shot, or utilize a committee to finish out games. Internal solutions will still leave the club down a late-inning arm, though Weaver certainly represents a quality new addition to the unit.