Rosenthal on October 10, 2012
|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 26|
May 29, 1990 |
Lee's Summit, Missouri
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|July 18, 2012 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||2.66|
Trevor Jordan Rosenthal (born May 29, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Cardinals drafted him to pitch in 2009 from Cowley County Community College in Kansas despite having played mostly shortstop. In the minor leagues, the Cardinals groomed him to be a starting pitcher. When he made his Major League début on July 18, 2012, Rosenthal became the 2,000th player to make an appearance in the franchise's history. As of 2013, he has appeared exclusively out of the bullpen, filling middle relief, set-up and closing roles. Through the 2013 World Series, Rosenthal has thrown 20 1⁄3 scoreless innings in his postseason career. He is known for a fastball that is difficult for hitters to pick up and on occasion reaches velocities at or over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).
After graduating from Lee's Summit, Rosenthal attended Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas, to play collegiate baseball. In 2009, the Cowley County baseball team, of which he was a member, qualified for the Junior College World Series. When Cardinals scout Aaron Looper first spotted Rosenthal, he was a shortstop who had just started pitching – he had totalled 4 2⁄3 Innings pitched (IP) at that time – and was throwing well over 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) off the mound in a tournament. Looper watched him for just one inning in that tournament. Cardinals director of scouting Jeff Luhnow remarked that “Looper thought he had ability and could get better, had great arm action, great stuff and was pretty good today but could get a lot better.”
Draft and minor leagues (2009–12)
Rosenthal pitched in the Gulf Coast League (GCL) in 2009, making 14 appearances for the GCL Cardinals. In the GCL, he posted a ground ball rate of 58%. In 2010 he moved up to the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appalachian League and spent the season there. He pitched in 10 games, starting six over 32 IP. Posting a 3–0 record (W–L), Rosenthal finished with a 2.25 earned run average (ERA), striking out 30 (SO), allowing just one home run and a 3.27 ground ball/fly ball ratio (G/F). He also posted a ground ball rate of 68%.
Said Cardinals general manager (GM) John Mozeliak of Rosenthal: "We realized we had a talent early on, when we sent him to Johnson City. Then when he went to Quad Cities, we knew exactly what we had because he really took off there."  Rosenthal spent 2011 with the Quad City River Bandits, then a Cardinals Class A affiliate, helping them to a Midwest League championship. He started the final game of the championship series in a three-game sweep of the Lansing Lugnuts, pitching six innings, allowing four hits and two walks (BB) while striking out nine in a 6–3 victory. This was Rosenthal's first full season pitching professional baseball. During the regular season, he started 22 games, pitched 120 1⁄3 innings with 133 S0 for a 4.11 ERA, 9.9 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (K/9), a 1.247 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) and 52% ground ball rate.
Rosenthal's 2010 and 2011 performances earned an invite to St. Louis Cardinals spring training in 2012 where his fastball lit up radar guns and the faces among club officials. While Mozeliak, manager Mike Matheny and others stated they felt Rosenthal was ready for the major leagues, a lack of space on the roster saw him start the season with the Double-A affiliate Springfield Cardinals. Due to his start in Springfield, that signaled Cardinals management made the unusual choice of having Rosenthal skip the advanced-A level Palm Beach Cardinals. He started the Midwest League All-Star Game. At Springfield, he started 17 games and tallied 94 IP, 83 SO, a 1.106 WHIP and a 2.78 ERA. He made his Major League début later that season and also pitched three games for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. In the minor leagues, Rosenthal has appeared in 66 total games, making 48 starts, accumulating 285 1⁄3 IP, 237 hits allowed and 98 BB for a 3.53 ERA and 1.174 WHIP. He also posted 293 SO for a ratio of 9.2 K/9.
St. Louis Cardinals (2012–present)
The Cardinals called up Trevor Rosenthal from Springfield for the first time to the Major Leagues on July 16, 2012, and he made his début two days later as the 2,000th player in franchise history dating back to 1882. He was also the 2,000th player for any Major League franchise. Twice sent briefly back down to the Redbirds during the season, Rosenthal returned to St. Louis on August 29th and remained the rest of the year, ending the season with seven straight scoreless appearances. He posted a 2.78 ERA while striking out 25 in 22 2⁄3 IP and held opponents to 14 hits in 89 plate appearances with a .175 batting average against. His success carried over into the postseason making him instrumental in the Cardinals' playoff run as they needed bullpen help. In his playoff debut against the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series (NLDS), Rosenthal struck out the side, retiring Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche while allowing a single to Ryan Zimmerman. Six more scoreless appearances followed as the Cardinals advanced to the National League Championship Series (NLCS). In all, Rosenthal struck out 15 of total 30 batters faced in the 2012 playoffs.
Rosenthal also spent the 2013 season in the bullpen. An injured ulnar collateral ligament in closer Jason Motte's elbow required Tommy John surgery to repair, forcing him to miss the entire season. Matheny reshuffled the bullpen, placing Rosenthal in the set-up role and Edward Mujica to replace Motte as the closer. However, late in the year, fatigue and ineffectiveness marred an otherwise stellar season on Mujica's part, and Matheny called upon Rosenthal to save three games late in the season. Although Matheny publicly stated that closing games would be accomplished by a committee, Rosenthal appeared most frequently to save games. For the season, Rosenthal totaled 75 1⁄3 IP, a 2.63 ERA and 108 strikeouts for average of 12.9 K/9. Among all MLB relievers who pitched at least 50 innings and started less than 20% of their appearances, Rosenthal's 12.9 K/9 ranked sixth.
Rosenthal continued his postseason dominance as he pitched 11 2⁄3 more scoreless innings in the NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, striking out 18 of the 40 batters he faced and allowing just four hits. In Game 2 of the NLCS, he entered in the ninth with fellow rookie Michael Wacha's five-hit shutout and one-run lead on the line. He struck out Dodgers rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig looking on the outside corner with a 98 MPH fastball. Next, Juan Uribe struck out swinging on a 99 MPH fastball above the shoulders. To end the game and preserve the win, Andre Ethier struck out looking on a fastball down the middle. He also tallied one win and four saves. Including his 2012 postseason, Rosenthal had yet to allow a run in 20 2⁄3 career postseason innings, allowing just six hits and striking out 33, for an average of 14.6 K/9.
Rosenthal's average fastball velocity in 2013 was 96.4 miles per hour (155.1 km/h), the sixth-highest among all MLB relievers. After the World Series, he publicly expressed the desire to be a starting pitcher in 2014. However, with Motte still recovering from Tommy John surgery, Mozeliak announced Rosenthal would be the closer at the beginning of the next season. Rosenthal quipped, "They don't know it yet, but I'm still competing for a starting spot."
With a sinking fastball that reaches the mid-90s miles per hour (MPH) and induces ground balls at a rate of over 50%, that pitch was seen as major league competitive. However, Rosenthal also throws a straighter fastball higher in the strike zone with a regular velocity of 98 miles per hour (158 km/h) to change the batters' eye level which they have difficulty picking up. This pitch routinely touches 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).
He also throws a curveball and changeup that, according to Bleacher Report's Doug Mead, have been deemed as "effective." However, according to Thomas Belmont of Baseball Instinct, the curveball is actually a slider. The pitch has sharp movement and has the potential to be a major league quality out pitch. Observed one American League scout during the 2013 World Series, "He’s got one of those loose-arm deliveries that creates great life on his fastball. He has such tight spin on his slider that (Shane) Victorino and (Dustin) Pedroia looked helpless against it." Rosenthal has developed his changeup to be an average pitch since 2011 when he played his first full season of professional baseball with Quad Cities, expanding the quality of the pitch sequence which he is able to throw to major league hitters. One unusual trend about the results is that Rosenthal has consistently had a higher than league average batting average on balls in play (BABIP) – a statistic in which league average is typically about .300. In 2009, Rosenthal's BABIP was .362 and .334 in 2011. In 2010, it actually dipped to the other extreme, to .262. In his first major league season, 2013, it was .347.
- Major leagues
- Minor leagues
- #39 prospect rating (pre-2013), Baseball America
- #43 prospect rating (pre-2013), MLB.com
- The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Cardinals Top Prospect #3 (2013)
- The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year (2012)
- Texas League mid-season & post-season All-Star (2012)
- The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Cardinals Top Prospect #12 (2012)
- The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com 2011 Quad Cities River Bandits Starting Pitcher of the Year
- Midwest League Pitcher of the Week: August 18–24, 2011
- Midwest League All-Star (2011)
Rosenthal is married to the former Lindsey Bowers, whom he wed in December, 2011 in Bristol, Tennessee. Their first child, Chloe Elizabeth, was born on September 13, 2013. Lindsey, along with his parents, brother (Tanner), and agent Scott Boras, attended his MLB debut at Miller Park in Milwaukee on July 18, 2012.
Over the 2012 offseason, Rosenthal stayed in St. Louis to work out with Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter. Two off seasons later, he participated in a training regiment with outfielder and teammate Matt Holliday which Holliday described as "NFL program," consisting of "sled pushing, tire flipping and some fireman carries," and each player taking turns carrying each other for about 20 metres. Rosenthal was building strength in anticipation of pitching from the bullpen in 2014, which the Cardinals already had announced would be his role for that season.
- Moore, Dan. "Trevor Rosenthal hits 101 in St. Louis Cardinals blowout". SB Nation St. Louis. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Tigers Sports News (October 9, 2012). "Rosenthal strikes out side in playoff debut". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Kilgore, Adam (October 16, 2013). "Trevor Rosenthal and the Cardinals' player development machine". Washington Post. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Langosch, Jenifer (November 12, 2012). "After post-season, Rosenthal figures to stick with Cardinals". MLB.com. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- Kepner, Tyler (October 21, 2012). "Trevor Rosenthal, rookie pitcher, makes mark for Cardinals". New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Belmont, Thomas (April 28, 2012). "Scouting Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals". Baseball Instinct. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Trevor Rosenthal profile". Scout.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Batterson, Steve (September 17, 2011). "Bandits win Midwest League championship". Quad City Times. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Trevor Rosenthal minor league statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Goold, Derrick (July 18, 2012). "Rosenthal makes history as 2,000th Cardinal". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Goold, Derrick (April 2, 2012). "Prospect Q & A: Tonight's starter Trevor Rosenthal". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- "Former River Bandits pitcher to join Cardinals bullpen". The Midwest League Traveler. July 16, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Mead, Doug (May 3, 2013). "Jason Motte surgery: Why it's time for Trevor Rosenthal to become star closer". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- McNeal, Stan (September 26, 2013). "A closer by any other name ... is now Rosenthal". Fox Sports Midwest. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Thornburg, Chad (October 12, 2013). "Rookie Trevor Rosenthal takes control of Cardinals' closer's role". MLB.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Trevor Rosenthal statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "For single seasons, for 2013, requiring at least 80% games in relief and at least 50 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest strikeouts per 9 IP". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- Baumann, Michael (October 16, 2013). "Who's that guy? St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal!". Grantland.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Lara-Cinisomo, Vince (November 5, 2013). "Cardinals to keep Trevor Rosenthal as closer". Baseball America. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- Good, Derrick (November 1, 2013). "Cardinals ponder next pitching moves". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- stlCupofJoe (January 24, 2014). "Trevor Rosenthal: Starting pitcher?". Viva El Birdos. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Poslosky, Tyler (November 12, 2013). "Are Cardinals making right decision leaving Trevor Rosental in closer role?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Harper, John (October 25, 2013). "Carlos Martínez, Trevor Rosenthal are two plucky Cardinals". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- "Trevor Rosenthal pitching statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Eddy, Matt (October 28, 2013). "Puig, Fernández lead an impressive group". Baseball America. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Lindsey Bowers & Trevor Rosenthal engagement". Cable Photography website. December 31, 2011.
- Langosch, Jenifer; Thornburg, Chad (September 19, 2013). "Rosenthals welcome first child to family". MLB.com. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- Rains, B. J. (July 16, 2012). "Rosenthal shocked for call up to big leagues". Fox Sports Midwest.
- Goold, Derrick (October 11, 2012). "Rosenthal is on the rise". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Langosch, Jenifer (January 20, 2014). "Holliday, Rosenthal work out using 'NFL program'". www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- @TrevRosenthal on Twitter