If you listen closely with your ear towards a swamp-like city near the mid-Atlantic, you’ll be able to hear the faint sounds of mild optimism returning to the minds and spirits of the dozens of Nationals fans in the DC-metro area. The reason for this is because of Washington finally getting rid of the human embodiment of the phrase “bullpen troubles.”
Trevor Rosenthal’s stint with the Nats results in final stats that are nothing short of incredible. After 6.1 IP, 12 appearances and 43 batters faced, he managed to get 19 outs, five strikeouts, 15 walks, five HBP, five wild pitches, and allowed eight hits and 16 earned runs with a 22.74 ERA and 21 ERA+.
For the former All-Star’s final act with Washington, he allowed three earned runs and three walks without recording a single out on Saturday. To be fair to Rosenthal, his replacement, Tanner Rainey, certainly didn’t help things by walking a batter with the bases loaded—Rosenthal had put them all there—and allowing Freddie Freeman to hit a bases-clearing RBI double to blow an 8-4 lead which eventually turned into a 13-9 loss.
Also worth noting whenever Rosenthal comes up as a topic is the unfortunate reality that his time with the Nationals was supposed to be a period of recovery in an attempt to get his career back on track after getting Tommy John surgery. While a certain amount of leniency should be expected for a player in his situation, it’s hard to keep justifying his position on the roster when things like a single strikeout are one of the few things that can be used to hold out hope for that player’s future. In fact, the only real improvement that can be remarked upon with Rosenthal’s time in Washington is the fact that he was able to get his ERA down from infinity.
If there’s any silver lining in all of this, it’s the fact that Rosenthal will still receive $7 million from the Nationals that was guaranteed with his contract.