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MLB St Louis Cardinals

What Should Trevor Rosenthal’s Role Be With The St. Louis Cardinals In 2013?

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals fans were able to get a glimpse of how good RHP Trevor Rosenthal will be, when he displayed his electric fastball in the 2012 MLB playoffs. Rosenthal threw 8 2/3 innings in the playoffs only allowing 2 hits with an astounding 15 strikeouts.

Rosenthal is currently listed as the #43 prospect in baseball and #4 in the Cardinals’ organization according to MLB.com. The 22-year old right-hander made 19 relief appearances in the regular season last year, but has worked primarily as a starter over the last two seasons in the minor leagues.

The young prospect has made one start this spring, allowing four runs in two innings pitched against the lowly Miami Marlins on Feb 23.

Manager Mike Matheny needs to realize that a player with an arm like Rosenthal’s should not be in the starting rotation. In Rosenthal’s brief stint with the big league club in 2012, his average fastball velocity was 97.6 mph, pitching strictly out of the bullpen.

Rosenthal would not be able to retain this incredible velocity if he were to be a starter. A move to the rotation would weaken Rosenthal’s primary weapon against hitters.  He also has not shown enough stamina to be a starting pitcher, averaging less than five innings per start in his 48 minor league starts.

The Cardinals have plenty of young pitchers that can handle themselves in the starting rotation, like Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly, so there is no need for Rosenthal to be in the rotation. Matheny needs to realize that that Jason Motte isn’t getting any younger and the Cardinals should start to develop a replacement.

Rosenthal has stuff comparable to that of Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and should not be experimented with in the rotation. The Cardinals need to take advantage of young player with this kind of potential to be one the best closers in baseball and use him in the bullpen in 2013.