The plug has been pulled on the Fernando Romero experiment.
The once-top prospect had been sitting on the Minnesota Twins’ Restricted List since late July. Prior to the original Spring Training, Romero attempted to come to the United States from the Dominican Republic, but customs turned him away. Although there was some speculation that the Twins could have used him for their Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers in the D.R., he did not make an appearance in the game.
Romero was slated to be a starting pitcher when coming up through the minors. He made his major-league debut in 2018, starting 11 games and posting a 4.37 ERA/4.35 FIP over 55.2 innings of work. However, prior to the 2019 campaign, the Falvine regime felt better having Romero in the bullpen, believing his high-heat fastball would be more effective in shorter appearances. Romero was all for the change, doing what it took to get the club a World Series ring.
The 2019 season was pretty much a disaster for the new reliever. He itched to a 7.07 ERA/5.07 FIP in 24 IP from the bullpen. His strikeouts were up (11.6 K/9) but he was bitten by walks (7.1 BB/9) and hits (12.2 H/9; 2.143 WHIP). He saw no major-league time in 2020.
Romero will be turning 26 this Christmas Eve. It’s not out of the question for another team to sign him to a minors deal with an invite to camp and see if he sticks at his still-young age.
Good luck, Fernando. Whenever I hear that ABBA song, I’ll think of you.