The St. Louis Cardinals' newest reliever, Lees Summit native Trevor Rosenthal, made his debut Wednesday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers, and he was everything--good and bad--that was advertised.
The good news: He hit 100 miles per hour on the radar gun, on a running fastball for called-strike-three to Corey Hart, flashed the beginnings of one of those buried-in-the-dirt Ben Sheets curveballs, and struck out two. The bad news: He threw a hanging breaking ball to Carlos Gomez that was hit 400 feet foul down the third base line, and walked two. The good news again: after that ball tailed just foul, Rosenthal went back to the curveball and struck Gomez out in the dirt with the bases loaded, a preternaturally confident move.
Overall, though, Rosenthal looked like someone who could move quickly up the Cardinals' damaged relief chain of command. His control problems weren't so pronounced as the ones that have sunk Eduardo Sanchez or Maikel Cleto; Yadier Molina didn't have to dive into the batter's boxes for anything.
Much like Lance Lynn last year, Rosenthal's gameplan is to vary the location on his fastball and try to throw one by each hitter he faces. If his curveball or the low-90s cutter he tried once can become consistent enough to keep their timing in question, he could have the same results Lynn did.