Past injury issue, Rosenthal pleased with spring debut

Past injury issue, Rosenthal pleased with spring debut

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though skeptical that he hit triple digits with his fastball Saturday (as the Roger Dean Stadium scoreboard advertised), Trevor Rosenthal was nonetheless pleased with how things went during his spring debut.

Rosenthal had his first Grapefruit League appearance pushed back a week after straining his groin in a live batting practice session during the final week of February. Now past the injury issue, Rosenthal continued his preparation for his first season as the team's closer with a scoreless inning Saturday.

"I felt good, especially for the first time out there," Rosenthal said. "I felt solid and pretty close to being season ready. I'm excited about that. It feels like I haven't skipped a beat since finishing last year. The mechanics and everything feels the same."

Rosenthal retired the first two batters he faced, walked the next and then got former teammate Brock Peterson to strike out swinging on a fastball that the stadium radar gun registered at 100 mph. Rosenthal wasn't quite sure about that accuracy, though manager Mike Matheny disagreed.

"It looked like 100," Matheny said. "As a matter of fact, I thought some of the pitches [starter] Michael [Wacha] was throwing were harder than it was registering. I think that was pretty consistent through the day. That's why our eye was going with what we had heard that [the radar gun] was a little light."

Instead of waiting to use Rosenthal at the end of the game, as he will be during the season, Matheny had him pitch the fourth inning so Rosenthal could face some of the players in the starting lineup.

"Towards the end [of Spring Training games], it will be more situational, but now it's just getting work in," Matheny said. "So much about that [closer] position is confidence, so we're just trying to get [Rosenthal] feeling good in this particular situation. Then get his confidence up that his stuff looks right."

Rosenthal has said he would like to make about six or seven spring appearances before the Cardinals head north.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.