The Tigers announced that they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Trevor Rosenthal from Triple-A Toledo. The former Cardinals closer signed a minor league pact with Detroit after being released by the Nationals in late June. Detroit’s 40-man roster is now full.
Rosenthal, 29, slogged through a catastrophic few months in the Nationals organization prior to being cut loose. In his return to the Majors following Tommy John surgery in late 2017, he turned in a stunning 22.74 ERA with nearly as many walks issued (15) as outs recorded (19). Rosenthal allowed 16 runs on eight hits and those 15 walks in just 6 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out five batters but also hit three and lost the handle on five wild pitches.
While one would think that Rosenthal’s promotion to the big leagues is a sign that his bout with the yips has improved, that curiously doesn’t appear to be the case. In 5 1/3 innings with Detroit’s affiliate in Toledo, he’s allowed six runs on eight hits and six walks. Rosenthal has punched out nine hitters, which is a mildly encouraging development, but he’s also plunked another hitter and thrown yet another wild pitch.
In spite of those ugly results, he’ll get another look in the Majors as he hopes to salvage his season before another offseason trip through free agency. For the Tigers, it’s a free look at a once-dominant reliever, but given the team’s rebuild and the extent of Rosenthal’s struggles, it seems likely that he’ll be on a short leash. If there’s no indication of legitimate improvement, there’s little reason for the Tigers to give those innings to someone who likely won’t be with the organization in 2020.