Monday, April 8, 2013
The Cards without Motte
By Jason Catania
The St. Louis Cardinals bullpen took a big hit when Jason Motte went down at the end of spring training.
The closer, dealing with a mild strain in his right elbow, has begun the season on the disabled list and his prognosis remains murky at this point.
The injury is a flexor muscle strain -- a "slight tear of the tendon," writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold -- although an MRI showed no damage to the elbow ligament, according to a club official.
As for the fallout, right-hander Mitchell Boggs will serve as the fill-in closer while Motte is on the shelf.
Rookie Trevor Rosenthal, who had been competing for the fifth starter's job before returning to the bullpen earlier this spring, will become the primary setup man. It's possible Rosenthal, who throws extremely hard and was lights-out down the stretch and in the postseason a year ago, could earn some save opportunities, too, if Motte is out for an extended period.
Jim BowdenRosenthal's role
"There is no reason Rosenthal can’t become the third-best closer in the National League behind Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. Rosenthal’s overpowering fastball, nasty hard curve and solid changeup give him the profile of a dominant closer. Rosenthal started the year as the Cardinals' third reliever, but after Jason Motte's injury he became the setup man for Mitchell Boggs. Don’t be surprised if Rosenthal wins the closer's job by the All-Star break if Motte is unable to return to form."