The Nationals announced the reinstatement of reliever Trevor Rosenthal from the 10-day injured list Saturday. They optioned fellow right-hander Kyle McGowin to Double-A Harrisburg in a corresponding move.
In what looked like a beneficial move in the making, the Nationals signed Rosenthal to a $7MM guarantee last November. Rosenthal was coming off a season-plus lost to Tommy John surgery at the time, though he had established himself as a quality reliever with the Cardinals dating back to his 2012 debut. However, the 29-year-old Rosenthal has been anything but effective as a member of the Nationals. Not only did it take Rosenthal until his fifth appearance of the season to record an out, but he allowed 12 earned runs on seven hits and nine walks in three innings before going on the IL on April 26 with a viral infection.
Adding to his issues in 2019, the hard-throwing Rosenthal didn’t register encouraging numbers during his prolonged stay in the minors. While pitching at the Double-A level, Rosenthal yielded six earned runs on nine hits (two homers) with 11 strikeouts against seven walks in 9 1/3 innings.
At this point, it’s hard to believe Rosenthal will reestablish himself in Washington, but a turnaround would be a significant boon for the club. The Nationals’ bullpen has been one of the worst in the majors throughout the season, which has helped lead to an awful 28-35 record and a six-game deficit in the NL East. In the Nats’ most recent late-game blowup on Friday, closer Sean Doolittle surrendered the decisive two runs en route to a 5-4 loss to the Padres.