According to Mike Puma, the Mets have stayed in touch with free agent reliever Trevor Rosenthal. Puma stated the Mets camp are clearly in on the 30 year old reliever.
The former Cardinals closer comes off a terrific year in 2020, as he was one of the most dominant arms in the game. In over 23 games, Rosenthal pitched to a 1.90 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 2.00 XERA between the Royals and Padres. In 23.2 innings pitched, he struck out 38 batters. Rosenthal was in the top of the league in expected slash line against, K percentage, fastball velo and spin and whiff percentage. When the ball got hit, it got hit fairly hard, however hitters had a difficult time making contact.
In the postseason, Rosenthal did struggle allowing 6 runs in 4 innings. It’s also worth mentioning that Rosenthal is coming off a bad 2019 were he walked 26 in 15.1 innings, allowing 23 earned runs and pitched to a 13.50 ERA. Small sample size, but that could also be said for 2020. However, it’s more so worth noting that he came off TJS that season.
Back to his great 2020. Rosenthal was at the top of the league in many aspects, especially with his fastball success. His 4 seam fastball was good for a minus 10 run value, tied for eight in the majors amongst every pitch (see graphic below). That was second in the majors for 4 seam fastballs (tied with Buehler and former Mets farmhand Blake Taylor).
I’m personally still a bit worried about his 2019 struggles, which could be part of him returning from TJS. However, both down year in 2019 and great year in 2020 are pitched in a small sample sizes. Since 2018, Rosenthal has pitched just 39 innings. To me it all depends on the cost if this is worth it for me. Obviously Rosenthal is coming off a very good 2020 were he showed a ton of promise. He was third in the league in XWOBA, behind just phenom Devin Williams and Caleb Ferguson, ahead of Trevor Bauer and prime free agent relief signing Liam Hendricks. If he keeps that up, he is going to be a steal.
Will he keep his 2020 up? Or was it a fluke? Will the Mets sign the righty?
Photo from MLB.com