Joe remembers when Trevor Rosenthal was young pitcher in the minors, he was a starting pitcher.
In fact he once started 22 games in Class A at Quad Cities. As recently as his stint in Memphis, Rosenthal made three starts.
So the subject of turning Rosie into a starter came up recently with Cardinals.com writer Jenifer Langosch.
General manager John Mozeliak did not dismiss the idea of Rosenthal transitioning into a starter’s role when asked about such a possibility [in October]. But I still see it as unlikely. I’d be concerned about whether Rosenthal still has the pitch repertoire to be a viable starting pitcher. He has become fastball-dependent (77.8 percent of his pitches in 2016 were fastballs) and has all but abandoned his curveball as a reliever. He threw his changeup 14 percent of the time last year, but that doesn’t erase questions about whether he has enough variety in his repertoire to handle facing hitters two, three or four times during the course of a game.
Langosch hits the nail on the head but also may be missing the elephant in the room.
Who exactly would replace Rosie as a starter? Sure, Seung-hwan Oh did an OK job as as closer, but he was hardly a lockdown closer. Much better as a setup man. Besides, Oh will be 35 next summer.
So unless or until Rosie can be adequately replaced as a closer, he should not be considered for a spot in the rotation.
As the old football axiom goes, “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” The Cardinals, as of yet, have not replaced Rosie.