Good news Sunday out of Cardinals camp, via MLB.com beat reporter Jenifer Langosch …
JUPITER, Fla. — After ending Tuesday’s live batting practice early due to tightness in his right groin, Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal returned to the mound on Sunday and threw without issue during a 25-pitch bullpen session.
The injury was never considered serious, and relievers don’t typically need as much spring game action as starters and position players. Rosenthal has ample time to get himself prepared for the opening of the 2014 regular season.
“I was lucky that it wasn’t too [serious an injury] and that it was early,” the hard-throwing right-hander told reporters on Sunday in Cardinals camp. “I feel like I’m pretty close to being right on track.”
Rosenthal, 23, owns a stellar 2.66 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 12.2 K/9 in 98 major league innings.
He also has a 0.00 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts in 20 1/3 postseason frames.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.