Trevor Rosenthal was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Oakland A’s completely revamped bullpen. He was their biggest free agent signing, costing the team $11 million, although a large portion was deferred. Rosenthal was meant to take over in the ninth inning, continuing the A’s history of dominant closers.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of men. Rosenthal was placed on the Injured List just before Opening Day, and later underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Not only did it appear as though the A’s had lit $11 million on fire, but it was fair to wonder if Rosenthal would ever pitch for the franchise.
A potential return to Oakland A’s in sight for Trevor Rosenthal
His long awaited debut may actually happen. According to reports, Rosenthal is progressing rapidly through his strength and conditioning program. Although he has yet to begin playing catch or throwing at all, the A’s are hopeful that he will be able to return by mid-August.
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Rosenthal had quite the impressive turnaround last season. After a disastrous 2019 campaign that saw him allow 24 runs, 23 earned, on 11 hits and 26 walks over 15.1 innings, Rosenthal looked like the dominant closer he had been. He posted a combined 1.90 ERA and a 0.845 WHiP over his 23.2 innings, striking out 38 batters with eight walks.
Even with that performance, Rosenthal was a bit of a gamble. He had moments of brilliance with the Cardinals during his time as their closer, but was unable to hold on to the job during his final two seasons in St. Louis. It was hardly certain that he would be worth that expenditure, even if he remained healthy to start the season.
However, if Rosenthal is healthy, he could be a key addition to the final few weeks of the season. Lou Trivino has done a solid job as the A’s closer, but has also had the occasional bump in the road. The bullpen could use another arm or two, and adding the former closer would help solidify the latter innings.
The Oakland A’s may actually get Trevor Rosenthal on the mound this year. If he can return, he would be a boost to the back of the bullpen.