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Romero Ready and Waiting for Twins

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 06 March 2018 · 2,137 views

minnesota twins fernando romero
Coming into spring training 2018, there were two key names on the mound when it came to up and coming Twins prospects. Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero were the guys to watch, and thus far, they’ve both been appointment viewing. For Romero, the ceiling is that of a big league ace, and thus far he’s done little to dispel that notion.
It’s hard to glean much from such an incredibly small sample size, but the process is just as imperative as the results. First by the numbers, Romero has appeared in three games pitching a total of five innings. He’s tallied six strikeouts, given up zero hits, and has walked just one batter. If that were stretched out over a considerable amount of any given season, he’d be staring at the business end of a Cy Young award and some big league records.
As it stands, the numbers are just a small flash in the pan allowing Twins fans to dream of what could one day be. That being said, it was his latest outing that might have been the most promising and indicative of the ceiling those within the organization hope he reaches. Against the Phillies in Clearwater on March 5, Romero worked the bottom of the 7th inning facing Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and Pedro Florimon (all big league bats). Starting out at 94 mph with his fastball, he topped out at 96 mph on his 19th offering of the inning. Striking out the trio swinging, Quinn and Florimon flailed at sliders biting their heels after facing straight heat. The outing included 21 pitches, 15 of which were strikes, 88 mph sliders, and 96 mph fastballs.
Over the course of those 21 pitches thrown to three Phillies batters, Romero showed exactly why he’s viewed as a top of the rotation arm. The velocity was there, the breaking pitches were devastating, the efficiency in the zone was displayed, and a mound presence well beyond his years was apparent. If every outing went like that one, Romero would find himself paired with Jose Berrios as a one-two punch for Minnesota out of the gate in 2018.
When it comes to the greater picture, Romero’s deficiencies lie where many like him find fault. Reaching Double-A Chattanooga for the first time last season as a 22 year old, command issues returned for the first time since his Tommy John surgery in 2014. Striking out 8.6 per nine across his 125.0 IP, he also allowed 3.2 BB/9. In 2016, his first season back from the surgery, Romero had sat down hitters at a 9.0 K/9 clip and walked just 1.5 per nine over 90.1 IP at two levels. If there’s an area of focus for the 2018 season, it will be in seeing how the free passes add up.
Looking back on his time as a pro, Romero has never been bit hard by the home run bug, and he’s generally kept his H/9 numbers to a minimum. As he continues to rise levels, potentially starting at Double-A Chattanooga to open 2018, seeing refinement in some integral areas will be a consistent focus. It’s in how the development with command and control shakes out that will eventually determine if Romero can assume a spot at the top of the rotation, or if he’s destined for a relief role.
At the end of spring training, it would be a virtual shock to see Romero break the 25 man headed up to Minnesota. The Twins would most likely prefer he break into the big leagues as a starter, and while he could see time first in a relief role, that coming directly out of spring seems incredibly unlikely. That being said, the clock has absolutely begun to tick, and there will be knocks on the major league door sooner rather than later.
Outside of the player acquisitions this offseason, pitching guru Derek Falvey has developed an infrastructure that should foster internal development. Task number one will be unlocking the highest possible percentile of Fernando Romero, and if achieved, could mean the Twins have the ace they’ve been craving since the days of Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • howieramone2 and MN_ExPat like this



I think Romero starts in AA, mid-season promotion to AAA, and if the numbers are there he's pitching in the MLB bullpen around August/September as he approaches an inning limit.

 

I don't necessarily think he makes an MLB start this year unless he's otherworldly given the names and depth in front of him in the pecking order. But a continued strong spring might shuffle that list a bit.

    • Dman, SF Twins Fan and MN_ExPat like this
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Ted Schwerzler
Mar 06 2018 11:47 AM

 

I think Romero starts in AA, mid-season promotion to AAA, and if the numbers are there he's pitching in the MLB bullpen around August/September as he approaches an inning limit.

 

I don't necessarily think he makes an MLB start this year unless he's otherworldly given the names and depth in front of him in the pecking order. But a continued strong spring might shuffle that list a bit.

I had Romero debuting with the Twins in June for the piece I did in the Twins Daily Prospect Handbook, that's a bit aggressive. I do lean aggressive timelines though as I try to tab a prospect a month.

    • mikelink45 and MN_ExPat like this

I think the Twins can be more aggressive with Romero.Let him start in AAA.If he does well then perhaps a mid-summer to fall callup is in order.In the meantime give Slegers and Gonsalves starts depending on who makes Molitors 4 man rotation.

 

Berrios

Odorizzi

Gibson

Meija/Hughes/Gonsalves/Slegers

Romero very well could start in AAA too, I say AA simply because of the depth around.

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Deduno Abides
Mar 06 2018 03:52 PM
Romero should break camp with the Twins. . . next year. This year will be about making sure he is locked in and thriving in April, 2019.

He will be up sometime this year and probably earlier than September, depending on health, his and others.
    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Romero worked the bottom of the 7th inning facing Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and Pedro Florimon (all big league bats).

0 PA, 69 PA, and .577 OPS. Two propects of some sort and we know Florimon. 

    • h2oface, blindeke and tarheeltwinsfan like this

I am always about moving pitchers quickly, using their young arms in the majors before they blow out.I would love to see Romero and Gonsalves pitch with the Twins this year.If it needs to be June, fine, but get the young arms in.

 

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

If the Twins have any thoughts of using him in the pen this year, and he proves he can do it this spring, he should come north with the club. If they only want him to work on being a starter, then it doesn't matter if he starts in AAA or AA, because it doesn't sound like he is working on a pitch refinement, it is more of stretching out and getting stronger.

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Ted Schwerzler
Mar 07 2018 12:21 PM

 

If the Twins have any thoughts of using him in the pen this year, and he proves he can do it this spring, he should come north with the club. If they only want him to work on being a starter, then it doesn't matter if he starts in AAA or AA, because it doesn't sound like he is working on a pitch refinement, it is more of stretching out and getting stronger.

Actually, the last piece to him being a starter is developing a usable chanegup. He needs to put forth a better command showing than he had at AA last year as well. I get he could make an impact in the pen, but I'd stay away from that for now.

    • howieramone2, sftwinsfan and SF Twins Fan like this

 

Actually, the last piece to him being a starter is developing a usable chanegup. 

 

Maybe he needs to sit in on Tyler Duffey's soon-to-come dinner/changeup clinic with Fernando Rodney.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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specialiststeve
Mar 10 2018 09:42 AM

 

Romero very well could start in AAA too, I say AA simply because of the depth around.

 I say that he should start in AAA. He has the stuff to be on the big club but we are not going there to start the year that is pretty clear. Getting started in AAA will give him innings against guys that have played in the show and will give themanagement a truer assessment of where he is at. I am guessing they will push back the clock and when the clock strikes in June he comes up.... and stays up.