The Houston Astros should consider acquiring Trevor Rosenthal for their bullpen.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about this Houston Astros team recently, it’s that the bullpen has some definite holes. As we saw in the Angels series, there are some relievers who belong and some who simply can’t be relied on at all. It’s perhaps the team’s biggest weakness, which is why Trevor Rosenthal would fit in so well.
The former Cardinals closer is enjoying a career renaissance this year with the Royals. He missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and then proceeded to walk 26 batters in 15.1 innings in 2019 split between the Nationals and Tigers. That led him to signing a minor league deal with Kansas City prior to the 2020 season, and he’s delivered in a big way.
In 13 appearances, Rosenthal has worked to a 1.46 ERA over 12.1 innings. He’s striking out more than 12 batters per nine innings and has put up a solid 1.054 WHIP. He’s still averaging just a tick under 98 mph on his fastball to go along with a slider and changeup that are both plenty effective. The 30-year-old is looking like the same guy who was an All-Star closer in 2015.
Big Boost, Small Price
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Rosenthal is only on a one-year deal and thus shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag. The main thing the Astros would need to watch out for is the competition. Rosenthal looks like the most effective reliever on the market, so there might be a bidding war for him. The Royals, mired in last place, are definitely sellers and are highly likely to move him.
Adding this type of power arm to the bullpen would be a huge boost to a group that needs it. Roberto Osuna doesn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon, and Ryan Pressly has been shaky. A few rookies have stepped up, but this group still isn’t particularly deep and it definitely lacks experience. Rosenthal would help with both.
Whether he might supplant Pressly as the closer would remain to be seen, but at the very least he would be someone Dusty Baker could trust in the late innings. If the Astros intend to make a push for the World Series this year, they don’t necessarily need to pull off a blockbuster. One or two moves like this could make a world of difference.