When the Cincinnati Reds officially signed right-handed reliever Pedro Strop it meant that they needed a 40-man roster spot. That led to the organization designating right-handed pitcher Sal Romano for assignment. Time passed and no one put in a claim on him, in a complete shocker to this particular writer, and the Reds outrighted Romano to Triple-A Louisville. The team also extended him an invitation as a non-roster player to big league spring training.
After a solid rookie season back in 2017 where he posted a 4.45 ERA in 16 starts for the Cincinnati Reds, Sal Romano has struggled a bit in each of the last two seasons in the Majors. He struggled as a starter in 2018, posting a 5.48 ERA in 25 starts. He did find some success in the bullpen later in the year, posting a 3.77 ERA as a reliever in 14 games.
In 2019 the Reds had Romano in the bullpen full time. His season began in Triple-A Louisville, and it’s where most of the time on the mound came before September. He made three big league appearances prior to then. In Triple-A his ERA was 4.28 (The league average ERA was 4.90) in 43 games that stretched 69.1 innings where he racked up 76 strikeouts and just 26 walks.
In the Major Leagues during the 2019 season his ERA was 7.71 in 16.1 innings. It really was one outing, though, that killed his ERA. On August 14th he allowed eight earned runs in just 0.2 innings. Outside of that outing he posted a 3.45 ERA in 15.2 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts. Obviously, you can’t pretend that game didn’t happen, but that one game makes his season look so much worse than it was outside of it.
For the Reds, it allows them to keep even more depth in the organization. Romano’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, and average over 96 with it last season. And he has generally thrown strikes in his career, too. There’s stuff to work with for the right-hander, it’s going to be about figuring out how to make it all work together.