The Cards won an impressive 97 games in 2013 and the team has won 86 or more games in the last six seasons. St. Louis has averaged 89.7 wins per season over that stretch, which has give the team’s closer plenty of chances to rack up saves.
The closer for the Birds for the foreseeable future is Trevor Rosenthal.
The team tried a half dozen different pitchers in the closer role and almost everyone failed miserably last year. Rosenthal inherited the job down the stretch and fortunately pitched well enough to lock up the job heading into the 2014 season.
Rosenthal has already saved two games this year for the Cards. He currently has an awful 5.40 ERA, but that is only because of his minor hiccup (1 IP, 2 ERs) on Monday night. The season is still very young, though, and the youngster will quickly bounce back for fantasy owners. It certainly isn’t anything to worry about.
Rosenthal will continue to be a top-five closer as long as the team decides to keep him in the ninth inning. The team loves to move their young arms into the rotation from the pen and moving into the rotation would be the only thing that would derail Rosenthal’s fantasy value as an elite closer.
Rosenthal should easily finish with 40-plus saves this year and rank among the leaders in the bullpen in strikeouts. He is leading the next generation of fantasy closers and will be one of the top relievers off the board for years to come.