In a move reminiscent of the call-up last season of minor league starter Lance Lynn to help stabilize the St. Louis bullpen, the Birds have summoned Class AA starter Trevor Rosenthal to the big leagues.
Rosenthal, who impressed in spring training, was 8-6 with a 2.74 ERA in 17 starts for Springfield. He struck out 83 and walked 37 in 94 innings, allowing 1.11 baserunners per inning pitched.
Besides the immediate need in the bullpen, the Cardinals probably hope their are other similarities between the Birds' moves with Lynn and Rosenthal.
As St. Louis fans know, Lynn graduated from his 'pen work to earn a job in the starting rotation in 2012. Rosenthal is an emerging star of the Cardinals minor league system and I'm sure the team would like to use this situation as an audition for a potential role in the 2013 rotation.
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With Chris Carpenter, whose injury opened the door for Lynn, in doubt for the future and Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook potential free agents, the Birds have a lot to think about regarding the 2013 rotation. What Rosenthal shows could also impact the club's thinking about potential trades to bolster the pitching staff, especially in terms of if the Cardinals would be willing to give up top pitching prospect Shelby Miller to add a starter.
To make room with the parent club, the Birds have optioned reliever Maikel Cleto to Class AAA Memphis. The Cardinals will also have to remove a player from the 40-man roster before their game tonight in Milwaukee in order to be allowed to activate Rosenthal. By removing him from the 40-man, the Birds would have to make that player available to other organizations.
If I was class AAA pitcher John Gaub, I'd be nervous. Gaub has bounced from the Cubs to the Rangers to the Rays organizations in the last year before being picked up by the Cardinals a few weeks ago. In short, the Redbirds don't have much invested in him and he's 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA out of the Memphis Bullpen.