First Pitch: 6:07pm CDT
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Bluebird Banter
It's Opening Night!
Let's play ball!
#24 / Pitcher / Toronto Blue Jays
Nov 06, 1984
Romero has established a bit of a track record as a good pitcher. He induces ground balls, doesn't give up a lot of home runs because not many balls in play are hit in the air, and he's a moderate strikeout threat with solid command.
He has the prototypical four-pitch arsenal: fastball, changeup, slider and curve, with the fastball dancing in the low 90s and uncle charlie sitting in the mid 70s. Last season his curve and changeup were his most effective pitches, both in terms of value and batting average on balls in play.
He mixes his pitches well. While he quite often leads with his fastball, once he works into pitcher or two-strike counts it turns into a guessing game and he can go into hunter mode. Even the slider, which is all about feel and at times isn't much more than a show-me pitch, can be used effectively. The only time he can be someone predictable is when he's behind, at which point he leans heavily on his fastball and hitters may as well forget about breaking balls. But with that fastball being his most hittable pitch, if the Twins find he's sharp and not falling behind too often they may be best to just look for that first or second pitch fastball.
#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Jan 08, 1976
As you can see here, Carl still has his 'stache. Tonight you will see this is no longer the case.
Pavano's changeup was hit out pitch last season, and by far his most valuable selection in his arsenal. It helped him pick up more ground balls in conjunction with that heavy fastball, and if his strikeout rates continue to drop this season that aspect of his game will become even more critical if he's to be a 200-inning horse this season.
Where his breaking balls helped him a great deal last season was on inducing swings outside of the strike zone. Pavano was one of the best in baseball last season in this area, and at this point in his career as guile becomes just as (if not more) important than his stuff, he'll need to continue to entice bad swings again this season as well.
Toronto has a talented lineup. Tonight is the first of (hopefully) 30-odd tests that one of our staff leaders will need to face down.