Cardinals looking at young RHPs for rotation spot
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The youth movement for the St. Louis Cardinals is in full swing for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.
Ever since St. Louis learned that a shoulder injury will likely keep ace Chris Carpenter from pitching this season, attention has turned to the three young right-handers who have a shot to round out the rotation.
Trevor Rosenthal is locked in a competition with fellow 22-year-old Shelby Miller and 24-year-old Joe Kelly, three prospects with limited major league experience. Rosenthal is getting the start Saturday when St. Louis opens its Grapefruit League schedule against Miami.
"It was hard to keep a smile off may face," Rosenthal said. "I'm excited for the games to start, and to have the opportunity to be out there is a lot of fun."
The Cardinals on Friday put Carpenter on the 60-day disabled list due to continued irritation in his spine and right shoulder. General manager John Mozeliak, who has said he doesn't expect the 37-year-old Carpenter to pitch at all this season, said the move gave the team roster flexibility.
Possessing a fastball that's been clocked in triple digits, Rosenthal threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings in the playoffs last season after going 0-2 with a 2.78 ERA during the regular season. All of those appearances came in relief.
Even this early in camp, he's placing great importance on Saturday's start..
"I think everything matters," said Rosenthal, who's been a starter in the minor leagues for the past three seasons. "For this first one I'm going to have the mindset that I'm going to go out there and earn it. Every pitch counts right now. ...I think they are going to be watching everything."
Kelly is the most seasoned of the trio. He started 16 games and also made a handful of appearances out of the bullpen last year following a midseason call-up when shoulder issues sidelined Jamie Garcia.
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