Rosenthal has said that his preference would be to start for St. Louis, but an abundance of starting pitching along with a dearth of options in the bullpen makes him more valuable to the team closing out games. Rosenthal has yet to start in the big leagues, spending all of 2013 in the bullpen as well as making 19 relief appearances in 2012. He has a career 2.66 ERA in that span and held opponents to just a 608 OPS this year. Rosenthal also struck out nearly 13 batters per nine innings in 2013.
The Cardinals handed the closer job to Rosenthal in September after incumbent Edward Mujica lost the role with several poor outings. Rosenthal saved three games in the final week of the season, then notched four more in the playoffs. He made ten shutout appearances in the postseason.
The Cardinals have thought that Rosenthal's power arm would be a strong fit in the bullpen. Matheny says that Rosenthal could one day join the starting rotation, but next year will not be the time for that. With both Mujica and John Axford leaving in free agency, the team needs him at closer.
"Right now there is no reason to go anywhere differently than how we ended," Matheny said at the team's season review new conference. "Trevor Rosenthal is a guy who is going in there getting the saves for us. That’s how we’re heading into this spring."
St. Louis's 21st round pick in 2009, Rosenthal was rated the No. 39 prospect in the nation by Baseball-America prior to 2013. He made 20 minor league starts in 2012 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.