Reliever Roulette: Trevor Rosenthal Relegated

(Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

(Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

With the European Championship and Copa America in full swing, putting a soccer spin on the Trevor Rosenthal news felt only appropriate. A consensus top-10 closer before the season, Rosenthal has now “walked” his way out of the ninth inning role. And I mean that literally; the guy has issued an astounding 21 free passes in 25 innings on the season. In fact, his 2.04 WHIP is higher than the ERA for many of his colleagues. Frankly, with how well the rest of the St. Louis bullpen has been pitching it’s a surprise this move didn’t come sooner.

May I interest you in a Stone Buddha? (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

May I interest you in a Stone Buddha? (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking of the other Cardinal relievers, early indications are that Seung-hwan Oh will now inherit the closing duties. In many ways, Oh is the anti-Rosenthal. He’s walked only eight batters in 51 innings and has a tidy 0.79 WHIP for the season. And in the midst of this efficiency the experienced rookie still offers a robust K/9 of 12.1. Some may be skeptical of a 33 year-old in his first Major League campaign, but there’s more to this story. Oh has compiled 357 saves over his international career and earned nicknames such as “Final Boss” and “Stone Buddha” along the way. Trust me, he can handle the pressure.

If Oh has already been scooped up in your league, Kevin Siegrist and Jonathan Broxton are a couple of other names to speculate on. Siegrist closed out six games for the red birds last season and the club feels comfortable using him in high leverage situations. That said he’s the only reliable lefty currently in the pen, which usually lends itself to a more flexible role. Broxton may have a case on the basis of his 118 career saves, though his elevated walk rate this season is somewhat of a concern.

In other news, the Rays placed Alex Colome on the 15-Day DL with right biceps tendinitis. While the closer hasn’t appeared in a game in almost two weeks, the move is retroactive to June 19th making him eligible to return as soon as Monday. The team has said it will employ a committee approach for the time being with Xavier Cedeno and Erasmo Ramirez as the most likely fill-ins. However, between Tampa’s recent struggles and Colome’s impending return, this is not yet an actionable fantasy development in most leagues.

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