The Washington Nationals have ended the Trevor Rosenthal experiment. What does his release mean for the state of the team and its bullpen?
His final stats on the season with the team are as follows: 6.1 innings pitched, 22.74 ERA, 10.12 FIP, 11.6 K%, 34.9 BB%, 3.63 WHIP, and shockingly, zero home runs allowed.
The biggest takeaway from Rosenthal’s release is that the Nationals have to deal with the fact their bullpen will not become reliable at any point in this season.
This tweet from Charlie of TheNationalsReview.com is spot on, and the six games in five day week the Nats just had exacerbated their issue.
However, the depth of the bullpen is where this team is severely lacking. That is why the Nats put Rosenthal on the IL with his “viral illness” to give him another chance.
If everything clicked with Rosenthal, he could fill the eighth inning role perfectly, with Suero/Rainey splitting seventh-inning duties.
The same logic applies to why fans were so adamant about wanting the Nats to sign Craig Kimbrel. By locking down the eighth and ninth innings, it puts other relievers in more manageable roles.
Because the Rosenthal and Kimbrel situations did not work out, we get games like Friday night when Suero is called upon, after pitching in the two previous games, to save a one-run game against the best team in the National League East.
Rosenthal’s struggles have lead to much of the Nationals’ bullpen’s struggles this season because he was counted on to fill a large role.
Unfortunately, it did not work out. I genuinely feel bad for Rosenthal. However, now the Nats are officially out of bullpen options and must work with what they have.
And that sentence should send shivers down the spines of Nationals fans across the country. Hopefully, after the All-Star Break, the group resets and becomes merely average so that the Nats’ starting pitchers and hitters can carry this team to a playoff berth.