Trevor Rosenthal will need Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The procedure will take place next week.
Not only does it cost Rosenthal the rest of this season, but most likely, all of 2018. The Cardinals will be in search of a closer beyond this season. It creates a challenge for GM Michael Girsch.
“It certainly creates a need where we previously had a pretty set answer,” Girsch said. “In the short term, there’s not a ton we can do about it, unfortunately, because of the time of year. We’re doing our best. In the longer term, it is something we’ll have to add to the things we’re trying to address this offseason.”
The Cardinals have lacked confidence in Seung-hwan Oh. Left handed hitters are batting well over .300 against the 34-year old who has 19 saves this season, matching 2016’s output. The issue is that the other numbers just haven’t been there. Oh is also 1-5 opposed to 6-3 last season with an ERA that is close to a full two runs higher than a season ago. Plus, Oh is a free agent after this season.
With the expected return on Alex Reyes to the starting rotation in 2018, perhaps it may be easier for the Cardinals to look to someone like Michael Wacha to become a closer. There have been external questions about his ability to be a long term answer as a starter. If a move to the bullpen is in his future, he could become a candidate. With lefty Brett Cecil already in the pen as a specialist, could a healthy Kevin Siegrist be the answer?
For this season, it appears Mike Matheny will hold a closer by committee.
“We’ll figure it out as we go,” Matheny said. “We’ve got a lot of opportunity for somebody to step in and take over the spot, a few spots. We are going to let everybody see what they can do and see who looks the best to fill that spot.”