Here's what Bernie had to say about the Cardinals glut of starting pitching for 2014:
Looking beyond 2013, Lee could slide into the Westbrook slot for 2014 because Westbrook becomes a free agent after this year. But with Lee in the mix, that would still leave the Cardinals with Wainwright, Lee, Lynn, Miller, Wacha, Martinez, Kelly. Let's not leave Seth Maness off the list; the Cardinals like him a lot. And there’s also Jaime Garcia, who should rehab his rotator cuff in time to pitch at some point in 2014. You can throw Lyons into the mix, too. And other potential starters will likely emerge from the system. We’ve already mentioned at least nine or 10 starting-pitcher entries for 2014 and beyond.Yes, he mentioned 9 or 10 starting pitchers, but nowhere does he mention Trevor Rosenthal.
Is it already a forgone conclusion that Rosenthal will remain a reliever for 2014 and beyond?
Heading into this spring, there was suppose to be a 3-man battle for the 5th starter spot between Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal. However, Rosenthal was only given a token chance, as he was only given one start before he was moved to the bullpen.
Next spring, with Jake Westbrook likely becoming a free agent and Jaime Garcia's availability at the start of the season up in the air, there will likely be two spots open. Will Rosenthal even be part of that battle?
It seems unlikely, as the Cardinals should have Michael Wacha, John Gast, Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly, Seth Maness and Tyler Lyons all battling for those two spots, making the need to use Rosenthal as a starter uneccessary.
Normally I'm opposed to relegating a top arm to the bullpen when he can be much more valuable as a starting pitcher. However, in this case, it probably makes the most sense. Edward Mujica will likely be gone via free agency and with the struggles of Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Cardinals will likely need Rosenthal to be the 9th inning guy.
It just would have been nice if he had been given a chance as a starter first, because now we'll never know what we might be missing.