The Cardinals currently sport a projected rotation that includes Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn. Rosenthal, fellow top prospect Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly were all battling it out for the No. 5 spot. However, St. Louis has elected to move Rosenthal to the ‘pen, a role he's familiar with given his body of work last season.
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The 22-year-old made his major league debut with the Cardinals last year, posting an ERA of 2.78 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.57 over 19 regular-season relief appearances. The Cards kept Rosenthal on their playoff roster, and he rewarded the club by logging 8 2/3 scoreless innings with two walks and 15 strikeouts in the NLDS and NLCS.
Rosenthal is still considered one of the top young starting pitching prospects in the game, and his move to the ‘pen doesn't figure to be permanent. We've seen teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers make similar moves in the past with former top prospects David Price and Derek Holland.