Found June 05, 2012 on Fox Sports Midwest:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It was an overcast spring training morning in mid-March, while most hitters were finishing up batting practice and pitchers were inside enjoying some lunch. Pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal was not among them. He was on the bullpen mound just outside the Cardinals clubhouse, engaged in a conversation that he still remembers daily. One he takes with him to the mound every fifth day. Among the participants were Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, fellow starter Jake Westbrook, big league pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and former Major League pitcher Cal Eldred. The subject? Introducing the promising prospect to a new pitch: the cutter. Arguably Carpenter's most effective and important pitch, the group felt adding a cutter to Rosenthal's repiture would do wonders for his career. Ten starts into his Double-A career, Rosenthal has bought in. "I've been throwing it a lot this year, especially as of late," Rosenthal said recently. "It's been a good pitch. I picked it up pretty easy and have been able to throw it in the zone and get some swings and misses and some weak outs. "I feel like as I continue to go through the organization and move up, it's going to allow me to go deeper into the games and maybe it's a pitch I save or give some different looks later in the game once I've thrown my other pitches." Rosenthal was so impressive during Spring Training that the Cardinals elected to have him skip High-A Palm Beach and start 2012 at Double-A Springfield. And so far, it's looked like the right decision. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts with Springfield and has held opposing batters to a .195 average. In 59 innings, Rosenthal has allowed just 40 hits and has 53 strikeouts. He's allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his 11 starts. "He had a great opportunity in big league camp and took the most of it," said Springfield manager Mike Shildt. "He had a good major league camp and opened some eyes. He got a lot of exposure to the big league staff and guys like Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia. They were terrific and he soaked up a lot of information. "He's a really good competitor and is serious about his preparation. He's getting a better feel for how to use everything and how to set up hitters and be economical with his pitches when he needs to because he has the ability to strike people out. A lot of power guys enjoy that obviously but there's times when having quick innings and getting through a lineup is not a bad thing." A cutter is somewhere in between a fastball and a slider. It's harder than a normal slider but a few MPH slower than a normal four-seem fastball. It breaks to the pitcher's glove side, often resulting in weak contact or a ground ball. Closer Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees has had success for years by throwing a cutter nearly every pitch. Right-handed pitchers often break the bats of left-handed batters because of the incoming movement. Rosenthal mostly listened during the talk, making mental notes as Carpenter showed the grip and explained how to throw it. It was one of many conversations the young pitcher had with the big league staff during his first taste of Major League Spring Training, but one of the most important. "It helps him big time," Springfield pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd says of Rosenthal's time in big league camp. "He talks about that experience all the time, getting to rub elbows with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright and big leaguers. It was a huge experience for him. He got a lot out of it and he opened a lot of eyes down there." But Rosenthal did more than just make mental notes. He went back to his hotel room and wrote them down in a notebook. By the time Spring Training had ended, he had gone through three spiral notebooks of things taught and reminded to him throughout the spring. When someone told him something whether it was how to grip the cutter or how to alternate his reps during his weight-lifting program he remembered it and wrote it down. Sometimes he just observed others and wrote down what he saw. And the notes have come in handy. While working on the cutter in recent starts, Rosenthal found himself going back to the old notebooks to refresh himself on some of the key points. "It was big in big league camp, things I picked up from the coaches and ideas I could jot down so if I didn't store it in the memory bank, I could go back and remind myself later on," Rosenthal said. "Ever since I signed, I've kept journals or a notebook. I have a couple going, one for my diet and what I'm eating, workouts and then just keeping a notebook with me at the field to track hitters and little things like that. "I'll write down notes about hitters following a start and go back and look at it before I face that team again. I want to continue to do it and get better at it and hopefully my notes get more detail." Rosenthal was a 21st round selection by the Cardinals in 2009 out of Cowley County Community College. The Lees Summit, Mo., native, pitched in rookie ball in 2009 and 2010 before posting a 4.11 ERA in 22 starts with Low-A Quad Cities. But he's been much more impressive at Double-A, forcing some to already speculate as to when he'll get promoted to Triple-A Memphis. After turning 22 years old just last week, the Cardinals will likely resist the urge and try to continue his seasoning in Springfield for most, if not all, of the year. But make no mistake. Rosenthal is quickly becoming one of the most exciting arms in the Cardinals system. And it's thanks in large part to his experiences in big league camp. "Just being able to learn from the older guys, there's so much to learn and I tried to soak in as much as possible," Rosenthal said. "I look forward to the future and continuing to learn because I have a long ways to go but that helped, just seeing the professionalism of the game and all the details that go into it. I realized there's a lot more to it than what I've seen at the lower levels so far. "It was amazing. It was a super fun time and it was even cooler that those guys took interest in me and wanted to help me with my career. I'm just trying to make the most of it and take advantage of that experience." With the help of his new pitch, he appears to be doing just that.

Cardinals draft Mathenys son

ST. LOUIS Despite a request from first-year manager Mike Matheny not to draft his son, the St. Louis Cardinals did just that in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft Wednesday afternoon. Tate Matheny, an outfielder from Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, was selected by the hometown Cardinals with the 720th overall pick. Its not known how aggressive the Cardinals...

Cardinals select Wacha at No. 19

ST. LOUIS Monday night was a time for dreams, and pitcher Michael Wacha met his future with familiar faces by his side. A little after 8 p.m., family and some Texas A&M teammates joined him at his residence in College Station, Texas, by the time Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig prepared to make an announcement that changed his life. There it was, closure for...

St. Louis Cardinals David Freese goes between-the-legs after making catch (Video)

Over the years, I've seen some pretty crazy plays made in Major League Baseball games but St. Louis Cardinals David Freese pulled off something I've never seen before. New York Mets pitcher Dillon Gee was at the plate when he hit a sharp liner to Freese who was able to knock down the ball. Watch as Freese goes the between the legs to throw out Gee at first...

Anyone Care To Take Any Responsibility Here?

Brutal. The Cardinals are absolutely brutal right now. Pitching? Awful. Defense? Rams-ish. Offense? Adron Chambers leads the team in RBIs for June. With one.Injuries have ravaged the Cardinals. Matt Holliday, David Freese, Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran have all had extended time on the DL along with Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse on the pitching side. What was that? 6 players...

Cards' Garcia "isn't right" in another all wrong outing

When Jaime Garcia was sent back to St. Louis to have his tender left elbow examined, he missed one start but passed muster medically to rejoin the club and make a start Tuesday night in Houston. But as manager Mike Matheny said after an aborted performance of two innings, "He isn't right." Minute Maid Park in Houston never has been terribly kind to Garcia, who before...

Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Escaping The Big Apple

St. Louis Cardinals chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines. Late Monday afternoon, I joined Jim Brinson and Joe Quinn on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in a special installment of this year’s series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” I reported from New York’s Citi Field after the Mets defeated the Cards in three of four games. Cardinals...

Dave Henderson Talks Steroids, Mark McGwire

Oh,'s funny how we still talk about you.A couple of weeks ago, Jack Clark blasted Tony LaRussa, saying he was "responsible for a lot of the cheating that went on".  Meaning, in a nutshell, the former skipper knew about the rampant steroid use in his clubhouse.Sour grapes from a former member of the St. Louis Cardinals who was, in his estimation, not...

“Not right” Garcia makes early Tuesday exit

The St. Louis Cardinals were behind early and could not quite come back against Houston Tuesday night, losing the series opener at Minute Maid Park, 9-8.

Getting used to a bigger window

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, you are aware the St. Louis Cardinals are in the middle of a very bad stretch of baseball. Before Monday’s win at New York, the club had dropped 5 straight and if you take out the sweep against the AAA padres on a 4-17 stretch of baseball. Bad. For whatever reason, I do not believe the sky is falling and all is lost...

Cards avoid 4 Game Sweep

The St. Louis Cardinals avoided a 4-game sweep, defeating the Mets 5-4 at Citi Field. Allen Craig put the Cardinals ahead for good with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. The Mets' were unable to capitalize on a fourth straight impressive outing from one of their starting pitchers, this time in Dillon Gee. They were however, able to make it interesting...

Astros improving while Cardinals winning less in minors

It was a random Sunday tweet from a Houston Astros follower, destined to be lost among the volumes of Twitter noise – except I couldn’t forget it. “All Astros farm teams at .500 or better. Hasn’t happened in a long time.” Player development is the main priority in all organizations, but playing winning baseball is important, too. Of course, it would be ridiculous to declare...

Walton’s Cardinals New York series minutes

Brian Walton’s notes from the St. Louis Cardinals’ four-game series against the Mets in New York.

Cardinals-Astros Preview

(AP) -- St. Louis manager Mike Matheny hopes the Cardinals' latest performance is the beginning of good things to come for his struggling team. With their longest losing streak of the season over, the Cardinals open a three-game road series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. St. Louis (28-27) totaled one run while dropping the first three of a four-game series at...

Surreal Weekend. Pre-Game: St. Louis Cardinals (27-27) @ New York Mets (31-23)

What a weekend!  The last 72 hours for Mets fans has been so surreal, I’m still wondering if it all really happened.  The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have been held to 1 run…ONE!  all series so far, Johan pitched the first Mets no-hitter in history (still trying to process that one), and R.A. Dickey said “I’ll see your no-hitter and raise you another shut...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.