Detroit Tigers: Former reliever Trevor Rosenthal does a full 180′ turnaround

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers cut Trevor Rosenthal in 2019, right at the 2020 trade deadline he was moved by the Kansas City Royals.

While the 2020 Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches on Monday, the Detroit Tigers can look back on their experience with Trevor Rosenthal with puzzled faces. The Tigers parted with ways with the Rosenthal reclamation project, which may now be a mistake?

Though it may not be a monumental mistake, the Kansas City Royals got themselves a new prospect and a player to be named later (PTBNL) for Rosenthal as the deadline inches closer. Jeff Passan even announced that the now-Royals reliever could be labeled as the best available.

In return for Rosenthal, the Royals received a toolsy outfielder in the form of Edward Olivares from the San Diego Padres. While Olivares is not an organization’s top thirty prospects, more of an outfielder who has future potential.  Now 24 years old, Olivares will join a young Royals organization.

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While the Tigers may not have gotten much from a Rosenthal trade, it has to suck to watch another team salvage two players for someone they cut. Especially after the organization granted Rosenthal’s release after struggles in 2019.

With the Tigers in 2019, Rosenthal made ten appearances for 9.0 innings pitched, where he struggled to find the strike zone in any form.

He may have only allowed three hits, but rather walked 11 opposing hitters, and hit another.

Though he struck out twelve hitters in nine innings, his 7.00 ERA and 1.56 WHIP show that Rosenthal struggled on the mound for the Tigers.

He would also pitch for the Washington Nationals in the big league, and made his way through the New York Yankees Triple-A team after being released from the Tigers.

The former Detroit Tigers reliever did a full 180′ turnaround between 2019 and 2020, learning how to find the strike zone.

In 2020 things turned around for Rosenthal, and in a time where trades may be small, with no large reliever names on the move, the Royals got whatever they could. The Royals got fourteen appearances from Rosenthal, totaling 13.2 innings pitched.

He would pitch to a 3.29 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, striking out 21 hitters, allowing only two earned runs, allowing nine hits, and reduce his walks to seven total. Rosenthal seems to have figured out how to look like a real reliever rather than Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn from the Major League movie.

Now, the Royals are taking home a return on a trade for Rosenthal where the Tigers were just hoping he could throw consistent strikes on a nightly basis.

But it still has to be a shocking revelation for the Tigers front office, Nationals too for that matter, to see a player they cut be deemed “the best reliever on the market.” So while the Tigers may not be “kicking themselves” that much, it still cannot be a fun thing to watch.

The Detroit Tigers may not have missed out much, but it is shocking to see a player who could not find the strike zone for the life of him in 2019 turn things around to be the “best reliever on the market” in 2020.