Trevor Rosenthal was competing for the final spot in the Cardinals’ rotation following Chris Carpenter’s injury, but manager Mike Matheny announced that the 22-year-old prospect will be shifted to the bullpen.
Rosenthal was dominant out of the Cardinals’ bullpen down the stretch and into the playoffs last season, but he was a full-time starter in the minors and ranks among the top dozen or so starter prospects in baseball.
Of course, working a young starter into the mix as a reliever initially is fairly common and doesn’t mean the Cardinals don’t view Rosenthal as a long-term piece of their rotation. But in the short term they have the luxury of Joe Kelly and fellow top prospect Shelby Miller as rotation candidates and can see what type of damage Rosenthal is capable of in shorter appearances for a while.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.