ESPN’s Stats & Info Twitter account, citing Elias Sports’ research, noted on Wednesday that Trevor Rosenthal’s rough start to the 2019 campaign is unfortunately historic.
“Rosenthal is the first [pitcher] in MLB history to allow at least one run without recording any outs in four straight appearances. He’s faced [nine] batters in that span. All [nine] have scored.”
That rough stretch actually goes back to his final appearance of the 2017 campaign, before Rosenthal injured his right elbow and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.
So far this season, the reliever, who signed a 1-year/$7M deal with the Nationals this winter, has faced seven batters, all of whom have reached base, with all of them scoring.
“My stuff’s there,” Rosenthal told reporters after walking two batters who both came around to score as part of four-run, eighth-inning rally by the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
“Mechanics and everything [are] fine,” he added, “... it’s just, I think, like I said, just building some confidence, and definitely continue to get game reps, and that’s just going to kind of help me get into a groove, and I think once I can get there it will be a good spot.”
Trevor Rosenthal just can't buy an out.@EliasSports tells us that Rosenthal is the first P in MLB history to allow at least one run without recording any outs in four straight appearances.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 3, 2019
He's faced 9 batters in that span. All 9 have scored. pic.twitter.com/m1j973yQkN
“We’ve got to sit down and just kind of — I mean, the ball is coming out good,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the Nats fought back for a 9-8 win over the Phillies on Wednesday.
“I think — like I said, he’s high-energy — we’ve got to figure out a way to calm him down a little bit, and every time I go get the ball, he doesn’t want to come out, he wants to keep going and keep going, but I’m not going to give up on him, that’s for sure, we need him, if we’re going to do this we need Rosenthal.”
Martinez said that for now, however, he might let Rosenthal get his reps and work things out in lower-leverage situations.
“We’re going to address that,” he said, “we really are. I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do with him, but it would be safe to say maybe we use him earlier in the game and get him to relax a little bit, but I told him today, ‘You’re a big part of our bullpen, and you’re going to help us a win a lot of games, so keep your head up, you’re going to be right back out there here soon, so keep your head up.’”
The velocity is there. Rosenthal is averaging 98.3 MPH with his fastball, but the command is not there yet, which is where Martinez said the focus is right now, throwing strikes.
“Walks, for him, are his enemy,” the manager said. “We’re trying to get him to throw strikes. He throws the ball great on flat ground. He throws the ball great in the bullpen. I talked to [bullpen coach] Henry [Blanco] and I think he just comes out over-amped, so he starts yanking all the balls, so we just have to get him to settle down a little bit, but like I said, he’s a big part of our bullpen, and we need him, we really need him.”