Trevor Rosenthal Era ends before it ever started
By David Hill
Trevor Rosenthal was supposed to be the answer. The Oakland A’s had been looking for someone to replace Liam Hendriks as their closer, ending up as the surprise landing spot for the former All Star closer. Even though it was just a one year deal, and included a great deal of deferred money, the A’s still felt they had the piece they needed to continue their strong bullpen performance.
Instead, that contract is proving to be a drastic mistake. Rosenthal was already on the Injured List, and is now out for the season as he will have hip surgery.
Trevor Rosenthal will not pitch for Oakland A’s in 2021
This is the second surgery for Rosenthal this season. He had previously undergone surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and was working his way back with the hope that he would return to the bullpen sometime in August. Now it seems as though he may never pitch for the A’s at all.
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Rosenthal was a gamble even before his injury issues this season. He had missed the entire 2018 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery and was a disaster after returning. He bounced through three different organizations, struggling in both the majors and the minors before signing a minor league contract with the Royals for 2020.
That deal turned out to be a true bargain. He posted a 1.90 ERA and a 0.845 WHiP in his 23.2 innings between the Royals and Padres, striking out 38 batters with just eight walks. He was able to reclaim a closer role, notching 11 saves as he was dominant once again.
That performance came with the small sample size caveat. While it was entirely possible that Rosenthal had found himself once more, and that his struggles in 2019 were just a matter of getting back to form, the A’s were still making a major financial gamble. In the end, that gamble did not pay off.
Trevor Rosenthal is out for the 2021 season after undergoing hip surgery. At this point, it is unlikely that he will ever pitch for the Oakland A’s.