Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rosenthal Is All about Location

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rosenthal Is All about Location

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA * For rookie Trevor Rosenthal, the reliever the Cardinals want to seize the offered late-inning role with the club, whether opposing hitters are ready for his blazing fastball is secondary as an explanation for his uneven start to the season.

It's not when or how he's using it.

It's where.

"It doesn't matter how hard you throw. If you make bad pitches, major-league hitters can handle it," Rosenthal said. "I don't think it's too much about overpowering. It's just about executing pitches at the bottom of the zone."

Rosenthal allowed two hits in two-thirds of an inning Thursday night and earned a hold despite needing Edward Mujica to save him from damage in the eighth inning. The heat-seeking righty has been the reliever manager Mike Matheny wants to keep and use in the eighth inning as a bridge to the closer.

Matheny even has acknowledged recently that he would use Rosenthal in the ninth for a save situation. The righty, however, has not had the same shutdown success that marked his role as a relief revelation last October.

In 22 2/3 innings during the regular season last year, Rosenthal allowed 14 hits and struck out 25 batters. He's already allowed 13 hits this season in 9 2/3 innings. He has 11 strikeouts.

"He's kind of a Catch-22. There are so many guys who have come into this organization with the great arms who don't know how to pitch," Matheny said. "We're constantly trying to get them not to be the dead-brain heavers. And then a guy like Trevor who has the kind of fastball where he could be a dead-brain heaver and do OK. It's a balance of how to use the secondary pitches. Those other pitches make his fastball better."

Eleven of the last 12 fastballs that Rosenthal threw Thursday reached 99 mph or faster. He's has hit 100 mph several times this season.

Rosenthal said he's "still trying to get comfortable," and that he wants to use hitters' eagerness to hit his fastball against them with his off-speed stuff.

MOLINA RESTS

Yadier Molina, who had been the only big-league catcher to start all of his team's games so far this season, finally got a breather Friday when Matheny elected to start Tony Cruz. …

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