Sal Romano takes the mound for the Reds today, making his major league debut against the Brewers. We’ll have more to say about Romano in the Game Preview, but here’s a reminder of what I wrote about him during spring training:
• Get used to thinking of Sal Romano (23, RHP) as a starter for the Reds. Romano made his fifth appearance this spring today. He’s thrown 15.1 innings, with 19 Ks and 3 walks. Today he went 4.2 innings and the Rangers barely laid a barrel on him, including a bunch of major league hitters. The one run he gave up was unearned. He had three strikeouts, on off-speed pitches. Bryan Price pulled Romano after he recorded two outs in the 8th. The Reds let him bat in the bottom of the 7th. Romano bats lefty and had failed to get a sac bunt down in his first AB.
Romano made 27 starts for AA-Pensacola last year, throwing 156 innings. He was chosen in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft. He’a big guy – 6’5″ and 270 lbs. He throws right over the top. Start your learning about Romano by reading this great post that Kourage Kundahl wrote for us last September. Bottom line: After today, I’ll be surprised if Romano isn’t put on a schedule to stretch out for a spot on the Opening Day roster. Big news.
• Sal Romano started today, possibly pitching for a spot on the Opening Day roster. There’s no way to sugar coat Romano’s day. He was hit hard and often. If you’re looking for silver linings amid the overcast skies, Romano didn’t walk anyone and he struck out six Brewers. Milwaukee played mostly big leaguers. Romano isn’t afraid to throw inside. The Reds defense didn’t help in the 5-run second inning, but the Earned Runs in the box score don’t matter. Getting hit hard matters. Romano had his good innings – he struck out the side in the first inning. But this outing didn’t strengthen his case.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.