Trevor Rosenthal will rejoin the Cardinals’ bullpen on Monday.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Derrick Goold first reported on Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals will activate reliever Trevor Rosenthal in advance of Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Rosenthal began the season on the 10-day disabled list after dealing with lat tightness during spring training.
Reliever Sam Tuivailala, who made his first major-league Opening Day roster this season, was optioned to Triple-A Memphis after Sunday’s game to make room for Rosenthal on the 25-man roster.
Rosenthal is expected to be utilized for multi-inning stretches this season, much like the Indians used Andrew Miller during the 2016 postseason. Especially considering the durability issues that he’s encountered over the past year, it’ll be interesting to see how he’s managed–and whether he’ll be used in high-leverage situations.
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Tuivailala had three one-inning relief appearances during the first week of the season, allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. Regardless of how much major-league action he gets, this is going to be a big season for him. He’ll be out of options next spring, and while he’s repeatedly shown an ability to throw his fastball with incredible velocity, he has yet to show consistent command or the ability to get hitters out at the major-league level. The past week could be a good confidence builder for him as he returns to the minors.
The Cardinals will face a tougher bullpen decision in the coming days or weeks, as they’ll have to do something with lefty Tyler Lyons. Lyons, who threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his first rehab outing of the season for Triple-A Memphis, still has several weeks remaining on his rehab assignment, so the Cardinals technically could drag out the issue for a while longer. If they’re going to act in good faith, though, they should activate Lyons soon, since he already pitched in Grapefruit League games and pretty clearly has shown that he’s close to full health after undergoing knee surgery this offseason.
The most likely candidate to go upon Lyons’ return would be righty Miguel Socolovich, who spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues before making his first Opening Day roster this year. However, Socolovich has arguably been the most consistent reliever in the Cardinals’ bullpen during the early going, and he’s out of options, which means they’d have to pass him through waivers and risk him electing free agency if they attempted to send him to the minors.
With baseball’s new 10-day DL this season, it’s conceivable that they could discover an issue with lefty Brett Cecil, who hasn’t yet been right mechanically during 2017. The 30-year-old reliever, who signed a four-year, $30.5 million-dollar deal with the Cardinals this offseason, had a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in eight spring appearances and has followed up that performance with a 18.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP through his first three regular-season outings.