NEW YORK • One of the things dismissed -- and dismissed often -- as a reason for Trevor Rosenthal's descent from closer to the irregular role he had for the Cardinals during the past several weeks was his health.
His velocity didn't reveal an issue.
His answers didn't describe an issue.
Evidently, there was an issue.
After approaching Matheny and other Cardinals officials this past weekend and explaining some discomfort in his right shoulder, Rosenthal has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation near his rotator cuff. The injury was discovered after Rosenthal asked and received a review by doctors Monday. The team made the roster move Tuesday.
"I can't crawl inside his body," Matheny said.
He added that it was similar to Seth Maness, who requested a review by a doctor after being demoted to Class AAA Memphis. Maness promptly went on the DL, though he had experienced a dip in velocity that was related to persisting soreness in his arm. Rosenthal has only had difficulty with command, and this past weekend had trouble in his second inning of work.
To take Rosenthal's spot on the roster, the Cardinals sided with innings. They added Dean Kiekhefer so that he would be available for both games of today's double header.
Sam Tuivailala will serve as the 26th man.
He is eligible to pitch in the second game, by rule.
Rosenthal is 2-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 40 games this season. Late last month, he was removed from the closer role, and Matheny stressed that this DL move would cause more troubles had Rosenthal been in a prominent role. In a way, Rosenthal's struggles have already created such issues. His absence from the ninth inning have jumbled the bullpen, pushing Seung Hwan Oh to closer and Kevin Siegrist to setup, and then the Cardinals have had to backfill from there.
Matheny said having Rosenthal work as a starter when he's able to return to the mound has been discussed. That would give him additional innings to work on multiple pitches, regardless of whether the Cardinals intend to use him as a reliever or starter upon his return.
The two doubleheaders this week have also upset the bullpen and led to a turnstile roster. The Cardinals have cycled through almost every option at Class AAA but top prospect Alex Reyes.
The Cardinals believe he will reach the majors soon, and there are discussing the timing and the role that will await him.
The preference now is to have Tyler Lyons start Saturday's game, if the Cardinals can get to Saturday without needing too many innings from him.