Rebuilding the bullpen for 2009 was a major goal for the Giants over this offseason. They added some free agent arms in Affeldt and Howry, but the team was also counting on homegrown pitcher, Sergio Romo, to be in the mix. Unfortunately, Romo is battling an elbow strain and could miss the next 10 days of ST.
Romo hadn’t pitched since last Thursday, when he allowed six ninth-inning runs (three earned) in a 16-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, Romo’s lack of sharpness seemed odd, since he had pitched winter ball in Mexico.
Bochy downplayed Romo’s ailment. “He had a touch of it last year and was fine,” Bochy said.
Given Spring Training’s duration, which is about a week longer than usual due to the World Baseball Classic, Bochy said that Romo still has time to pitch himself into consideration for the Opening Day roster.
Losing Romo to injury would be a strong hit to bullpen depth. Romo has been a steady riser through the minor leagues, getting results at each level he’s pitched at, and his trial run of 30 IP in the majors last season was considered a success. From our Team WAR projections, we’ve got Romo projected to add about a half-win to the bullpen — which makes him a hair less valuable than new relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Bob Howry.
It’s possible that Romo’s bullpen spot could be filled by someone like Osiris Matos or NRI’s Brandon Medders and Justin Miller. I’ve been a fan of Miller since he signed as a minor league free agent. Brandon Medders has MLB experience, but it’s been largely uninspiring. His career FIP of 4.67 reminds me a little too much of Brad Hennessey. Justin Miller struggled as a starting pitcher, but he posted two solid FIP years with the Marlins — 3.06 and 3.88 — from 2007-08. CHONE has him projected to throw a 3.60 FIP next season, which would rank him in the upper-end of the bullpen. A Romo-injury could also mean that Rule 5 Draft Pick, Luis Perdomo might get a bigger chance to make the team. Perdomo throws a mid-90′s fastball from a low 3/4 arm angle that he compliments with a hard, tilty slider in the mid-80′s.
Yabu and Taschner haven’t looked good so far in ST, but it’s only ST and I wouldn’t bury them yet. I don’t think either pitcher has a good chance to perform well for the bullpen, but they’ve only thrown a combined 4.2 innings between them.
Which brings me to today’s comment starter, if Romo can’t start the season with the Giants, who would you like to see take his place? You can find ST stats for the pitchers in camp, here. Really, though, you should take them with bowling ball-sized grains of salt. ST stats are historically useless and for pitchers that have only throw 1-2 innings so far, they are even less reliable.
Comment Starter: Which pitcher in camp would you replace Sergio Romo with?