The Cardinals could benefit from moving Kevin Siegrist into the closer role at the expense of Trevor Rosenthal, here’s why:
Coming into the season, the Cardinals bullpen seemed to be the Cardinals biggest asset. With the addition of Korean pitcher Seung hwan Oh along with Jonathon Broxton, Kevin Siegrist, Jordan Walden, and Trevor Rosenthal closing down games, it looked like opposing teams would have to try to score when the starter was still in the game to have a chance.
For the most part, the bullpen has lived up to expectations. Their only flaw is the worst one possible, their closer. Rosenthal has simply not pitched up to expectations. The 25 year old has so much talent. He has the ability to throw his fastball in the triple digits along with a changeup that can neutralize hitters.
So far this season, Rosenthal has struggled closing out games. Do not let his 1.64 ERA and 6 saves in 7 opportunities fool you, Rosenthal has struggled to close out games and should be replaced by Siegrist.
In his last three appearances, Rosenthal has walked an astonishing 6 batters in only 2 innings pitched. His last outing he threw 12 balls in 14 pitches, without recording an out. During that span, he only struck out 1 batter which is very concerning for a pitcher who’s batting average for balls in play is .333.
Now before you jump on me and say that it’s only a few bad outings, look at Rosenthal’s full season. He has struggled closing out games all year. He has had three appearances where he was forced to throw more than 30 pitches and seven appearances where he has thrown at least 22. Rosenthal is laboring to end games and has simply not been lights out like he used to.
Rosenthal’s struggles are rooted in his inability to throw strikes. This season he has only throw 62% of his pitches for strikes. If Rosenthal wants to regain his form, he has to attack hitters and throw strikes. The way he is currently pitching is not sustainable and he will cost the Cardinals games in the future.
Opposing batters are hitting .150 with runners on base and .143 with runners in scoring pos. vs. Kevin SIegrist this season.
— Chris Tunno (@TunesSTL) May 13, 2016
With Rosenthal struggling, Kevin Siegrist is the obvious choice to replace him. The lefty has simply been lights out of late, only allowing one run in the month of May while striking out nine batters. Siegrist attacks hitters with his fastball in the upper 90s and has a wipeout slider to strike them out. Siegrist’s ERA is inflated by one poor appearance in Arizona which is an extremely hitter friendly ballpark. Siegrist is also able to get hitters out not just by striking them out, unlike Rosenthal.
Siegrist has simply been lights out this season where Rosenthal has struggled. The Cardinals are not bringing many leads into the 9th inning so they need the game to be over by then. Kevin Siegrist is the answer for key situations late in the game, not Rosenthal.