On Saturday, hoping to recover from the series-opening beatdown vs the Texas Rangers on Friday, the Minnesota Twins watched as 2018 FA signing, RHP Jake Odorizzi, take the mound. Unfortunately, the newly signed hurler and his six earned runs over 1.2 innings turned a rough Friday night into a full-on head-pounding hangover on Saturday afternoon.
The 7-year pro’s dumpster fire of a performance was the quickest, non-injury related, exit of his 142 career starts.
Thanks to Odorizzi’s surprisingly short shift, Minnesota’s bullpen was forced to record a taxing, two-dozen outs Saturday. As a result of the over-worked relievers, and in the aftermath of the 9-6 loss, the Twins made themselves a roster move:
Fernando Romero optioned to AAA. Reliever coming up tomorrow
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) June 23, 2018
While Fernando Romero heads to Rochester, RHP Alan Busenitz will be joining Paul Molitor’s fatigued bullpen.
Busenitz’, whose 35.2 career MLB innings (31.2 innings in 2017, 4.0 innings in 2018) have all come with the Twins, current AAA campaign includes an impressive 1.27 ERA over 17 appearances (28.1 innings). He’s been good when the Twins have called upon him too. Really good.
As we watch one promising pitcher get another call up, Fernando Romero will experience his first demotion from the MLB back to the minors. He looks like he could use a reset. After his first handful of big league starts saw him produce an ERA of 1.88, the coveted prospect has now allowed 19 runs over his last 22.2 innings pitched, raising his 2018 ERA to 4.38.
In “well, that makes sense” fashion, Romero’s ERA spike directly correlates to an increase in hitters’ ability to get his ball into the outfield:
First five starts: 29 strikeouts, 39 ground balls, 32 fly balls, 1 HR
Next five starts: 15 strikeouts, 31 ground balls, 49 fly balls, 5 HR
Strikeouts are way down, but it’s also surprising to see so many well-struck fly balls vs. a high-velocity ground-ball guy.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 23, 2018
As if he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, Fernando Romero “will be back”. The electric 23 year-old’s ultimate return to big league baseball is simply a matter of time. Here’s what Molitor had to say about Romero after the move:
“His starts, while they haven’t been horrific or horrendous or any of those type of things, it just looks like it’s been a little more laborious for him,” Molitor said. “Some of the things that a young pitcher goes through, I think it’s time to reset him. There’s obviously some things maybe that I don’t want to be too transparent about that I think he needs to work on. I’m sure he’ll get back to work.”
For Sunday’s series finale, the Twins will trot out Jose Berrios before Monday’s scheduled off-day. After their one day vacation, Minnesota will be slapped in the face by the start of a nine-game road trip.
According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, “Adalberto Mejia appears to be the most likely candidate to replace Romero in the rotation.” Per Berardino, the LHP is currently “lined up to start on June 30 after going 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in his first four June starts for the Red Wings.”
After last season witnessed Mejia post a 4.50 ERA over 21 starts, I’m
excited interested to see the freshly turned 25 year-old makes his 2018 MLB debut.
With all due respect to Mejia, when in the hell can I get excited about seeing our real ace?
— Pioneer Press (@PioneerPress) June 23, 2018