Despite my soft spot for Fernando Rodney, if the near future sees him drop another save or two, it’ll be time for the 41 year-old to be given a different bullpen role.
While this piece is based on a Twins’ pitcher named “Fernando,” whose last initial is also “R,” it surprisingly doesn’t surround the veteran reliever. Meaning, Mr. Rodney’s leash as Minnesota’s closer (albeit assumedly short) still exists.
As a result, the sure to be fisticuffs between my brain and heart won’t be occurring today. Phew, that was close.
Thankfully, this particular table is reserved for a different “Fernando.”
— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) April 30, 2018
In case you missed the reports, Fernando Romero is slated to make his MLB debut on Wednesday.
The 6’0″ 215 lbs right-hander will be taking over the bullpen-bound Phil Hughes’ spot in the rotation. As implied by this March 4th, 2018 headline from the Pioneer Press, the 23 year-old has an aggressive amount of potential:
The Dominican Republic native, has sat out almost all of the last two years (injury and eventual Tommy John). The anticipation surrounding the young flame thrower actually took off in 2016. His sub 2.00 ERA over sixteen Single-A starts (5 Cedar Rapids, 11 Fort Myers) during that season “shocked observers.”
It’s probably fair to say he shocked some hitters, as well:
Fernando Romero still humming it in there at 97-98 MPH here in the 5th. #Kernels
— Jeff Johnson (@jeje66) June 9, 2016
Since then, despite ending last year on the DL, he hasn’t skipped a beat. The power throwing pitcher finished his 125-inning 2017 campaign with a 3.53 ERA, 120 strikeouts, and 45 walks (Double-A Chattanooga).
As for this year, Romero has “fared well in his first taste of Triple-A, posting a 2.57 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 10 walks in 21 innings.
Here’s the @BaseballPro scouting report on Twins top pitching prospect Fernando Romero, who’s joining the rotation Wednesday in place of Phil Hughes. https://t.co/pieLJtcYJg pic.twitter.com/KgfoUAFLtB
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 30, 2018
Please do not share that information with the Toronto Blue Jays or any of their affiliates. Thank you.
You can share this tidbit with them, though: Fernando Romero “has the mound swagger that all the great ones seem to possess.”
To close, let’s hope this shake-up is exactly what the doctor (and fans) ordered. Either way, having Hughes in the rotation was putting way too much stress on the already stressed out relievers.
However it all plays out, Ervin Santana should be back before we know it. On top of that, Lance Lynn should be almost finished with his version of Spring Training:
Lance Lynn 8.46 ERA
Alex Cobb 13.11 ERA
Greg Holland 7.36 ERA
It’s almost like facing pro lineups for a month before the season is pretty important…
— Phil Mackey (@PhilMackey) May 1, 2018