Rosenthal rejoins bullpen mix; Westbrook waning in final weeks

News-DemocratSeptember 14, 2013 

— Reliever Trevor Rosenthal rejoined the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday for their game against Seattle.

Rosenthal missed two consecutive games to be with his wife, Lindsey, who gave birth to the couple's first child, Chloe Elizabeth, at 1:10 a.m. Friday.

Rosenthal said Chloe weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, then joked that she had a 0.00 ERA.

Rosenthal wasn't joking that sleep has been at a minimum.

"Not a whole lot," said Rosenthal, adding that the experience of seeing his daughter arrive was "awesome."

"It was one of the coolest things to be a part of," Rosenthal said. "Everything went well and everybody's healthy. I'm really looking forward to (fatherhood) and I'm happy she's here.

Rosenthal said he felt powerless watching the Cardinals' games on television.

"Weird. I don't like it," he said. "It's not as fun, for sure. I think it's harder to watch on TV than to be here. It doesn't seem like a big game when you're here playing, but when you watch it on TV, it's 'Come on.' I'm eager to get back to the team and keep on truckin'. It's good to be back."

Rosenthal began Saturday with 97 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. Asked whether the adrenalin from watching his daughter being born could add more life to his potent fastball, Rosenthal demurred.

"That would be great, but no promises," he said.

Westbrook waning

Don't expect to see much of right-hander Jake Westbrook in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Westbrook, who is 7-8 with a 4.64 ERA, is eligible to pitch again after a recent stint on the disabled list with a strained back, but in his only outing since the injury, he allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits in 1 1/3 innings Sept. 6 against Pittsburgh.

"When he gets a chance, he just needs to be the Jake we've seen him be," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But right now, we've got a lot of arms down there (in the bullpen). We don't want to see anything happen to our rotation, so we'll just give him opportunities when we can and see how it goes."

Peterson, Robertson start

Matheny said right-handed-hitting Brock Peterson, who played first base and batted seventh Saturday, was in the lineup to prevent Matt Adams from facing left-hander James Paxton. Adams is batting just .214 against lefties.

"We're still trying to get 'Patch' locked in," Matheny said of Adams. "Sometimes that's easier against a right-hander than it is some of these lefties. The hard-throwing lefty that we (face) today, righties have had some success against him."

Paxton did not allow a home run against left-handed hitters this season at Class AAA Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League. Right-handed hitters batted .294 against Paxton.

That also explained center fielder Jon Jay's absence from the lineup. Robinson substituted for Jay and batted second.

Catching on

Minor-league catcher Audry Perez was surrounded by Matheny, Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz and Rob Johnson before the game receiving defensive tips. Molina (five) and Matheny (four) have nine Rawlings Gold Glove awards between them, and Perez was all ears as they spoke.

But Matheny said Johnson and Cruz also benefited.

"It was very valuable for Audry, but it was for everybody," Matheny said. "Tony, Rob and Audry all threw. Audry needed a little more work with some things. ... Mechanically, especially with his footwork, he had a few things he needed to have some reminders on. Anything Yadi says is gold to these guys, and it should be."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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