Scattershot Nationals reliever Trevor Rosenthal was sent to the injured list back on April 26, two days after his last outing, another alarming disasterpiece in what is shaping up to be a nightmare of a season. The official line at the time was that Rosenthal had a stomach virus that caused weight loss and “muscle fatigue,” but between the lines, Rosenthal was being given a break from pitching in order to buy him some time to figure out how to pitch a baseball without hurting people.
Tellingly, Rosenthal’s stomach bug and resulting “muscle fatigue” were cleared up by April 29, and Rosenthal was off to extended spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida. At the time Rosenthal led all major league pitchers in wild pitches, despite having been credited with just three total innings of work—he now hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than a month, and he’s still tied for fourth.
The Nationals are headed to Cincinnati for a weekend set, having won consecutive series for only the second time all season. In a surprising turn, Rosenthal is reportedly headed there as well, although no official move has been announced by the team. If he’s back with the big club, that must mean he’s conquered the yips, either in West Palm Beach or at Double-A Harrisburg, where Rosenthal has been pitching since May 11. This was his latest performance down there, an inning of work Thursday night against New Hampshire:
As you can see in the stat line, Rosenthal hit two batters. As you can see in the video, in addition to the two HBPs, Rosenthal’s second pitch missed the zone by a good seven feet. Several more of his pitches only avoided batters’ body parts due to quick reflexes. Rosenthal has now hit three batters and been credited with one wild pitch in his last four appearances at Double-A, where his 4.91 earned run average is still more than seven times lower than his major league ERA. Clearly he is ready to stabilize the Nationals’ explosive bullpen.