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 ...