The Cardinals have moved righty Trevor Rosenthal from the 10-day to the 60-day DL, per a club announcement. That move brings his season to an end, though a course of treatment for his elbow injury has yet to be disclosed.
With Rosenthal hitting the shelf for good, it seems Seung-hwan Oh is the odds-on favorite to function as the St. Louis closer the rest of the way. St. Louis has purchased the contract of southpaw Ryan Sherriff, necessitating the 40-man roster move. The club optioned righty Josh Lucas to clear active roster space.
While his fate this year has now been resolved, Rosenthal’s future remains up in the air. It is not yet entirely clear just what elbow injury he has suffered, though indications are that ligament damage is involved. Should Rosenthal require a significant procedure, such as Tommy John surgery, he might be sidelined long enough that the Cardinals would elect not to tender him a contract for his final year of arbitration eligibility. But the team could still keep him around — with a raise over his $6.4MM salary — if Rosenthal is instead able to rehab or escape with a less significant surgical approach.
Regardless, today’s news is quite disappointing for both the team and a player who had shown a return to form in 2017. The 27-year-old surrendered 6.5 walks and 4.46 earned runs per nine innings in a disappointing 2016 campaign that was further marred by questions about his arm health. He came into camp this year having lost his closer role, seeking instead to work as a starter.
As it turned out, Rosenthal ended up working back into the ninth for St. Louis, ultimately saving 11 games before hitting the DL. He carried a 3.40 ERA through 47 2/3 innings, tamping down on the free passes (3.8 BB/9) while sporting career-highs in strikeout rate (14.3 K/9), swinging-strike rate (15.9%), and average fastball velocity (98.9 mph).
No matter how things proceed from here, Rosenthal will surely be looked upon as one of the game’s most intriguing bounceback candidates given his age and demonstrated ceiling. Whether that effort will come with the Cards or another organization, though, remains to be seen.