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Article: Should the Twins Shut Down Fernando Romero?

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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:28 PM

One of the biggest responsibilities an organization has to its players is to do everything in its power to keep them healthy. This is especially true of young pitchers, but there's a fine line between babying a player and breaking him.

Fernando Romero is scheduled to pitch for Double-A Chattanooga Thursday night, but should he? The 22-year-old has already set a career high for innings pitched and appears to be fading of late. Is it just a slump, or is this a red flag that he could be wearing down?Romero, 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?

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#2 Thrylos

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:37 PM

What do you think the Twins should do with him?

 

I think that the Twins should gather and analyze all data they have on Romero, including average velocity during games and throughout the season, give him a thorough physical exam and make an informed decision.

 

Do I know what that decision should be?No without that data.Do I trust the (same old minor league & medical) Twins' staff to make the right decision?Not sure.

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#3 yarnivek1972

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:48 PM

I think the Twins should stick with whatever their original plan was.  If it was a pitch count limit or an IP limit.  You aren't going to do Romero any favors if he can't pitch deeper into the season.  As long as he isn't feeling pain in his arm, stick with whatever the plan originally was.  He has to be getting close to whatever cap the Twins have in mind.

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#4 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 04:50 PM

I don't believe IP or pitch counts mean much.
If a guy is strong and maintaining form, let him pitch.
If he's fatigued to the point that it affects his form or mechanics in a way that is inviting injury, that's when you shut him down.
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#5 carlito_b

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 04:53 PM

Call him up in September and put him in the bullpen.. Limit his innings load and give him big league experience

#6 Deduno Abides

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

Limit innings now to rest for Southern League playoffs, then hopefully help the team to a AA championship.

Edited by Deduno Abides, 22 August 2017 - 05:06 PM.

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#7 spycake

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:09 PM

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?


Well, then some other enterprising Twins fan would just disguise themselves as the bounty hunter Bombo Fett and free him.

Edited by spycake, 22 August 2017 - 06:10 PM.


#8 Dantes929

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:27 PM

 

I don't believe IP or pitch counts mean much.
If a guy is strong and maintaining form, let him pitch.
If he's fatigued to the point that it affects his form or mechanics in a way that is inviting injury, that's when you shut him down.

I'm with you.I have never understood how not pitching for the next 6 or 7 months is doing him any good.  He is just as likely to tear a tendon in the first two weeks of ST as he is now IMO.  Ask him how he is feeling. If it is simple fatigue then skip a start or two.  If there is stress or pain then rest or maybe shut him down. I don't believe there is much evidence that innings or pitch limits is a good thing. I think most on here would agree that the Twins have done as much as possible and more than most teams to protect their pitchers with both innings limits and pitch counts.  I also think most on here would agree that it hasn't done much good. Gibson, May, Thorpe, Pelfrey, Liriano, Burdi, Wimmers,  Perkins.  I am sure I am missing plenty.

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#9 scottz

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:20 PM

If he's "just" fatigued or they are concerned about too many innings, skip every other start and turn those into bullpen games for the rest of the year, so you don't tax the arms of the other starters.

If he's hurt, put him on the DL, and rehab him as appropriate.
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#10 MN_ExPat

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 07:02 AM

 

Well, then some other enterprising Twins fan would just disguise themselves as the bounty hunter Bombo Fett and free him.

Bombo Fett????? Are you sure you aren't a Trekkie?


#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 07:11 AM

Maybe the Twins don't see him as fatigued, maybe they see him with the same energy but he had a couple of bad outings and the team wants to see if they can wrap up his season with a better taste in his mouth.

 

Do we have any velocity readings? From during his peak performances and during the two recent outings? I'd think his velocity would give us a better clue as to his current fatigue level.


#12 Darius

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:58 AM

How much does he weigh? Get Souhan on it.
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#13 spycake

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:10 PM

 

Bombo Fett????? Are you sure you aren't a Trekkie?

 

I was trying to combine a Twins and Star Wars reference... perhaps unsuccessfully, 

 

RiveraBombo.jpg

 

In retrospect, I should have gone with "Bombo Yett":

 

yett.jpg

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#14 MN_ExPat

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 01:34 PM

 

I was trying to combine a Twins and Star Wars reference... perhaps unsuccessfully, 

 

attachicon.gifRiveraBombo.jpg

 

In retrospect, I should have gone with "Bombo Yett":

 

attachicon.gifyett.jpg

Ahh, I see... well played then Good Sir.


#15 caninatl04

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 02:34 PM

One more start-- limit to 4 or 5 innings, then one (unlimited) start in their playoffs.Isn't that what major league teams do when they are coasting into the playoffs?

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#16 Tom Froemming

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:02 AM

Romero pitched poorly again last night. He gave up six runs (five earned) and nine hits over 5.0 innings. So he's now given up 17 earned runs over his last 14.1 IP.

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#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:18 AM

I think they are trying to keep his shorts start but to extend his time frame. It isn't as much as IP, but getting used to playing over the long haul. I wouldn't be surprised if he's horrible here on out, as he's well beyond his max, but I'm fine with that. They need to get him to a point where he can be able to handle an ML workload.


#18 spycake

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:50 AM

 

I think they are trying to keep his shorts start but to extend his time frame. It isn't as much as IP, but getting used to playing over the long haul. I wouldn't be surprised if he's horrible here on out, as he's well beyond his max, but I'm fine with that. They need to get him to a point where he can be able to handle an ML workload.

I don't know.  If he's pitching bad, he's likely fatigued, and you're increasing his injury risk and maybe even encouraging bad form/mechanics by continuing to send him out there.  Seems like a pretty risky move just to get him from ~120 IP to ~140 or whatever.


#19 Jaykay

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 02:08 PM

I'd be fine with them shutting him down at this point. 

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#20 drjim

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 06:00 PM

I don't know. If he's pitching bad, he's likely fatigued, and you're increasing his injury risk and maybe even encouraging bad form/mechanics by continuing to send him out there. Seems like a pretty risky move just to get him from ~120 IP to ~140 or whatever.


Does seem about time to shut him down. He's pitched enough to get to 160 next year, which can be a full season with some creativity throughout the year.

I still think it's basically moot, he'll be too tantalizing not to put in the pen in the second half next year.
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