Rosenthal on October 10, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 44
May 29, 1990 |
Lee's Summit, Missouri
|July 18, 2012 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through August 27, 2015)
|Earned run average||2.53|
Career highlights and awards
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 debut on July 18, 2012, Rosenthal became the 2,000th player to make an appearance in the franchise's history. He has appeared exclusively out of the bullpen as a major leaguer, filling middle relief, set-up and closing roles. Rosenthal threw 20 1⁄3 scoreless innings to begin his postseason career. From 2014–15, he became the third-youngest pitcher to record back-to-back 40 save seasons. 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).
Trevor Rosenthal, the son of Judy (Henke) and Russ Rosenthal, was born and raised in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. He graduated from Lee's Summit West High School in Lee's Summit, Missouri. He is Christian.
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)
The Cardinals drafted Rosenthal in the 21st round of the 2009 MLB Draft. He signed for $65,000. The club first assigned him to the Gulf Coast League (GCL) in 2009, where he made 14 appearances for the GCL Cardinals and posted a ground ball rate of 58%. The next season, 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 first to be 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 29 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.
Rosenthal's successful rookie season 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), he 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.
That postseason, Rosenthal continued his dominance. 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. First, 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. Spanning his 2012 and 2013 postseasons, Rosenthal had yet to allow a run in 20 1⁄3 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. In response, he quipped, "They don't know it yet, but I'm still competing for a starting spot."
Despite a rocky start to the season, Rosenthal has settled into the closer role well. As of September 7, he led the MLB with 43 saves. He stayed in the closer role despite the return of former closer Jason Motte and a brief ninth-inning experiment with Pat Neshek. Rosenthal finished second in the NL with 45 saves. He exhibited unusual control problems, walking 42 batters in 70 1⁄3 IP, more than double the walks in 2013. In spite of the increase in walks, he allowed a 3.20 ERA and struck out 87 batters, an average of 11.1 per nine innings.
Through June 13, 2015, against the Kansas City Royals, Rosenthal had saved his NL-leading 21st game of the season, and was more than 17 innings into a scoreless streak that began on May 5. The scoreless inning streak ended at 23 2⁄3 IP on July 3 against the San Diego Padres. Jedd Gyorko singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth. Rosenthal's streak, which dated back to May 5, was the longest among relief pitchers in the National League to that point in the season. With a 0.70 ERA in 37 appearances and 24 of 25 saves converted through July 6, he was selected by fellow players to his first MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. He received more votes than any other NL reliever.
In August 2015, Baseball America published that National League managers and coaches rated Rosenthal the third-best reliever in the league. After saving his 40th game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 26, Rosenthal became the third-youngest MLB pitcher to record back-to-back 40 save seasons, and just the second Cardinals pitcher to do so. Lee Smith registered 40 saves each season from 1991–93.
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.
Awards and accomplishments
- Third-youngest MLB pitcher with consecutive 40-save seasons (2014–15)
- Second Cardinals pitcher with consecutive 40-save seasons (2014–15)
- Major league awards
- Baseball America All-Rookie team, Relief pitcher (2013)
- Baseball America Toolbox Award for "Best reliever" (2015 – 3rd)
- Major League Baseball All-Star (2015)
- Minor league awards
- #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. They have two daughters. Their first child, Chloe Elizabeth, was born on September 13, 2013. Their second child, Adalyn Grace, was born August 28, 2015. Lindsey, along with his parents, brother (Tanner), and agent Scott Boras, attended his MLB debut at Miller Park in Milwaukee on July 18, 2012. Rosenthal's father often gets invited to bar mitzvahs despite the fact that Trevor's family is Christian because of their ambiguous Germanic family name.
Over the 2012 offseason, Rosenthal stayed in St. Louis to work out with former Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter. Two off seasons later, he participated in a training regimen 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.
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- "Cards' Rosenthal makes his pitch(es)". ESPN. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- Tigers Sports News (October 9, 2012). "Rosenthal strikes out side in playoff debut". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- Langosch, Jennifer; Flanagan, Jeffrey (June 13, 2015). "Reynolds, Lyons send Cardinals past Royals". MLB.com. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Langosch, Jenifer (July 4, 2015). "Rosenthal sees scoreless streak end". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Eisele, Elizabeth (July 7, 2015). "Rosenthal, Wacha and Molina added to ASG roster". KMOV.com. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- Goold, Derrick (August 12, 2015). "Cards prospect Reyes sweeps 'Tools Triple Crown'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
- Hummel, Rick (August 27, 2015). "Rosenthal repeats 40-save season". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
- 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.
- Hutti, Angela (August 29, 2015). "Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, wife welcome baby girl". FOX2 Now St. Louis. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- 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 Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- @TrevRosenthal on Twitter