The Washington Nationals announced this morning that the franchise has decided to release former star relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal, who has struggled mightily so far this season.
Rosenthal, 29, was a big offseason signing for the Nationals, though he's looked like anything but a major league pitcher since arriving in Washington.
The former St. Louis Cardinals star, who has 121 career saves, was unable to record an out in his first four appearances of the year. He pitched just three complete innings in April and was sent down to the minors to try to figure things out.
Rosenthal returned to the major league club in mid-June. He pitched 3.1 innings this month, allowing four earned runs.
The former star closer showed some reason for hope on Friday night, recording an out in the bottom of the eighth in a tight game against the Braves. Rosenthal returned to the mound on Saturday, though, and walked the three batters he faced.
The Nationals released him this morning.
Nationals insider Mark Zuckerman had more details:
"In bringing Rosenthal back a couple weeks ago, Nationals knew they could only afford to give him one shot. He came up big Friday night, but after last night’s meltdown they really had no choice but to cut ties. They’re responsible for his full $7 million salary," he reports.
The Nationals struggled to start the year, but have since gotten hot and are only three games out of the Wild Card.
It has simply gotten to the point where Washington could not afford to keep Rosenthal with the major league team.