Once one of the most dominant closers in the game, Trevor Rosenthal had gone 1,083 days without a save. That all changed on Thursday.
“It’s been a while,” Rosenthal said after a throwing a scoreless ninth inning to close out the Detroit Tigers.
Those nearly three years between saves were both physically and mentally taxing for the 30-year-old reliever, especially his short time with the Nationals. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal made 12 appearances with Washington during the 2019 season. Rosenthal went 0-1 with a 22.74 ERA. That includes 16 walks issued, three batters hit and five wild pitches thrown in just 6.1 innings pitched.
“He put the work in, we put the work in, we tried to get him right and just things didn’t work out,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said at the time of Rosenthal’s release last season.
A short stint with the Tigers in 2019 didn’t go much better (7.00 ERA in 10 appearances), but things have been different with the Royals as manager Mike Matheny told The Detroit News.
“I think he just got back to what he knows works for him,” Matheny said. “Everything just looked timed-up right. I think he was allowing himself biomechanically to have that range to stay square to the plate. He was falling off a lot last year. I think a lot of it had to do with, maybe, a limited range (after Tommy John surgery). To me he looks extremely similar to what I’ve seen him when he’s been at his best.”
It’s just one save, but for Rosenthal the moment and the journey was not lost on him.
''I've just always focused on putting in the work,'' Rosenthal said. ''I've been fortunate that a lot of people have given me opportunities even when I've been struggling.''
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