Earlier this week, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal shared he expected to return to game action on Thursday. What he didn’t know at the time would be in what role. Now for the first time since he pitched in Double-A nearly five years ago, Rosenthal will have the opportunity to throw the first pitch of a game, as he is scheduled to start against Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.
How many innings he goes is yet to be determined.
“Not very far, as far as pitch count goes,” Mike Matheny told MLB.com. “I don’t have the exact number for you right now but he’s not going to be stretched out. We’re just kind of getting him going again.”
The last couple of weeks have seen Rosenthal limited to couple of side sessions after soreness in his lower right lat temporarily halted his throwing. But after an MRI showed all to be clear, he slowly worked back into the progression of pitching.
The question remains if there is enough time for him to build up and prove himself as a multiple innings option for the Cardinals.
“Saying could he get the innings he needs to contribute–whether it’s a starter or multiple relief appearance innings, I think that’s still in question,” said General Manager John Mozeliak. “I think it’s very important that some point this week he gets into a game and we can get that pitch count up, so therefore then we can look and see what three off-days or four off-days before he goes again, how he responds. But imagining him to get the pitch count up to where he needs to be a starter, I think could be a challenge.”
Those comments came from Mozeliak this past Sunday as he was seated within view of Rosenthal throwing a side session of about 40 pitches.
Counting the game on Thursday, the Cardinals have 13 games remaining in Grapefruit League play plus two exhibitions as they will play in Memphis and Springfield.
Prior to being slowed down, Rosenthal had struck out one batter in 3.0 innings of work in two appearances this spring.
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI