Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki Tweeted shortly after the completion of today’s game that J.C. Romero was designated for assignment to make room for Vance Worley, who will be starting Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Romero’s designation comes as little surprise to many Phillies’ fans who saw Romero struggle with control and was unable to get lefties out in his primary role as a lefty specialist. A few weeks back, I had posted a silly graph in frustration at a Phillies loss. J.C. must be a fan of nice, round numbers:
Romero’s inability to prevent runners from reaching base was particularly frustrating to watch because of his excellent performances for the Phillies in 2007 and 2008 that arguably resurrected his career. Unfortunately for Romero, he’s either been suspended, injured, or ineffective for most of the time period following 2008. Click the thumbnails to view the graphs at full size.
In the first graph, you’ll notice that Romero hasn’t pitched nearly close to his career average in innings, a career average that includes the last three seasons with the Phillies in which he saw limited action. The most telling numbers in the first graph were that his BB/9 IP were at least a walk and a half higher than his career average and his K/9 IP were at least .4 K lower than his career average. The second graph, in its most basic sense shows that his Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched (WHIP) not only gradually increased over the last three seasons but all three years was much higher than his career average and that his stirkeouts to walk ratio dipped significantly compared to his career average. Looking back on DFA’ing Romero, is this something the Phillies should have done sooner? Loyalty for his contributions in 2007 and 2008 no doubt played a large role in offering him a one-year deal in late December. But with the emergence of Antonio Bastardo as the Phillies preeminent lefty specialist, it appears there is no longer a role on the Phillies for Romero.