Should the Twins Shut Down Fernando Romero?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyRomero, Twins Daily's No. 1 prospect heading into this season, is having a great year for the Lookouts despite facing older hitters 83 percent of the time. There's really no way to paint this season for him as anything but a success, but is it time for it to end?
Romero hasn't pitched into the sixth inning for nine straight starts. In one of those outings he was removed despite having thrown just 63 pitches. It's clear the decision makers are already putting limitations on his workload, but would it be more wise to just shut him down before you break him down?
Romero has shown signs of fatigue over his last two outings. Over 9.1 innings he's given up 12 earned runs, 17 hits, four walks and has just two strikeouts. Maybe that ends up as just a blip on the radar when all is said and done, but it's pretty out of character for a guy who had a 2.60 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 9.4 K/9 prior to those two poor outings.
Romero missed all of 2015 and only logged 90.1 official innings last season (though he did put in some more work at extended spring training). He's already up to 120.0 innings pitched this year, a new career high. He's also still just 22-years-old.
On the other hand, he's already on the 40-man roster, thus burning an option year. That puts some additional urgency into Romero's development. There's also the fact that Chattanooga will be in the Southern League playoffs, and it'd be a huge blow to their championship dreams if Romero were to be shut down. A lot of Twins fans will turn up their noses at that notion, but try telling the guys in that Lookouts clubhouse that winning doesn't matter in the minor leagues.
Trying to figure out what's best for Romero's future is incredibly difficult. Maybe the teams have a lot more data than us looking from the outside in, but there doesn't seem to be a right or wrong answer. No two players are the same and injuries can seem to be completely random.
What would I do? Well, I've already joked around here a few times that I'd freeze Romero in carbonite a la Han Solo and have him remain in that state until the spring. What do you think the Twins should do with him?
- Cory Engelhardt, Oldgoat_MN and MN_ExPat like this