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Phillies designate reliever J.C. Romero for assignment

Jun 16, 2011, 4:13 PM EDT

jc-romero-phillies AP

J.C. Romero has been in the Phillies’ bullpen for the past four-and-a-half seasons, but today they designated him for assignment to make room on the roster for tomorrow’s starter, Vance Worley.

Romero remains very effective against left-handed hitters, but his inability to be even decent against right-handed hitters and overall struggles to throw the ball over the plate have severely limited his usefulness.

During the past three-plus seasons he’s held lefties to a .185 batting average, including .208 this season, but righties have gotten on base at a .431 clip against Romero that basically limits him to left-handed specialist duties. Toss in his 92 walks in 128 innings during that time and letting him go, while surprising, isn’t much of a loss for the Phillies’ bullpen.

Plus, there’s a decent chance Romero will pass through waivers unclaimed anyway, as taking on the remainder of his $1.35 million contract may scare teams off if the southpaw’s performance hadn’t already.

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    As we speak, I’m driving him to the airport right now. I have him in my trunk.

  2. wondroushippo - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    He can get lefties out; he won’t be out of work for long.

  3. Joe - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Cue PED-related comment in 3….2….1….

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      As I am driving him to the airport, I could hear him mutter from the trunk that he wants to stop by a local GNC for some of his “special” vitamins. I told him to shut up. We will be at the airport soon. I’m currently on I-95 going about 90mph. I need to get him out of town ASAP!!!

      I even have a faithful police escort from the ballpark.

  4. oikosjeremy - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    The problem has been that Charlie Manuel refuses to use Romero as a LOOGY. The majority of the hitters Romero has faced this year have been righties, which is why his stats look terrible. Just another example of Charlie’s often-strange bullpen management.

    • bleedgreen - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      It doesn’t matter if they’re lefties or righties. He’s WALKING people left and right. A ball is a ball whether the guy is a left hander or a right hander. He has zero command anymore. He has been bad for the past year and a half.

      • xmatt0926x - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        Right on. I dont care what the batting average against lefties is. He walks the house and absolutely never leaves the game with his team in a better situation then when he came in. Hell, Charlie Manuel said himself that he was losing trust in Romero recently and that “it’s been a while” since Romero was consistent. If the manager is saying it to the media than you know it’s bad. And to top it off he’s the pitching version of Jose Reyes. The constant dance steps after every pitch and the head shaking after yet another walk or hit. Thanks for 2008 JC. Thanks to GNC too. Have a nice life.

      • oikosjeremy - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:45 PM

        JC Romero is giving up a 321 OBP and 530 OPS to lefties this year. That of course includes the effects of walks. Yes, that OBP is not awesome, because of the walks. But it’s decent. And the OPS is awesome, because besides the walks he hardly gives up anything to lefties. And those numbers aren’t hugely different from last year (323 OBP and 600 OPS to lefties).

        Romero is not a total shut down LOOGY, but he absolutely would be a useful one, unless your team has no use for a guy who can hold lefties to an OPS <600. There are only 25 roster spots, so in the grand scheme of things maybe dropping Romero for Worley is the best use of those slots. But as satisfying at it is to just yell "Romero's terrible, get rid of the bum", it's not true. He's not terrible *against lefties*.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 17, 2011 at 8:38 AM

        His walk rate on Right handed batters is 6.94 per 9 and 3.98 per 9 against Lefties. His K/9 is about equal over his career but this season he’s got 10.29 k/9 ratio on LH and a 1.93 k/9 against RH bats. So there it is, he can get out Lhanders like no one’s business. But letting him face RHanders is a mistake. If used against Left batters in tight games or left to burn an inning in a blowout, he’s got value. Most of The Phillies batters are LH so this could really bite them.

  5. lanflfan - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Pretty surprising, considering the excellent lefty hitters Philly will face the rest of this year, and, one would think, in the playoffs. I find it hard to believe a team with strong starting pitching couldn’t hold one ‘pen spot open for a lefty specialist. Could be more here than meets the eye.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      The numbers against lefties are deceiving. He walks a ton of batters and is awful in high leverage situations. It has become clear over the course of the past season + that the organization completely lost faith in him.

  6. bleedgreen - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Best news I heard all month!

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      I just got done dropping him off at the airport, left him far from the entrance he needed to be at. When he asked me why I couldn’t drop him at the entrance, I told him that he’s no stranger to “walking” and told him to get out of my face.

      So long, Romero.

      • chadjones27 - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:37 PM

        Gee bicepts, bitter much? Tell us how you really feel.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:24 PM

        That’s funny ‘Bicepts. I can’t imagine any Phillies fan not glad that they finally showed him the door.

  7. Jonny 5 - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    I don’t see why Atlanta wouldn’t pick him up. For the min he fills the spot of,,,,,,,, Damn, what’s his name again??? He looks good in black dresses………….. Moylan their injured reliever who tore ass on the Phills.

    Anyway with all the lefties the Phills have this could easily back fire. I’d put Baez down first, but that’s just me.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      I am skeptical of Baez as well but at least he can give your more than an inning if needed.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        I’m concerned with what Baez gives the other team for more than an inning. Remember back in 2008, when the Phightins had the late innings Romadslidge rotation?

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Brian Cashman, please call. .508 OPS against lefties during a ‘bad’ year sounds pretty good to me.Just intentionally walk Youk and he can carve through Boston’s lineup.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

      Doesn’t work that way. He will intentionally walk Youk then walk the next 3 batters.

      • chadjones27 - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        He’d probably strike the guy while trying to intentionally walk him… talk about bad command.

  9. FC - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    This article is worth reading. The real big issue for this guy is command.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/The-JC-Romero-usage-misconception.html

  10. Jonny 5 - Jun 16, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Look at his walk rate vs Lh and Rh batters. There is a disparity that accounts for his high walk rate. He’s a good Loogy. Most of his walks are on Rh’s.

    • FC - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Not in High Leverage situations. At the time of the article I linked to. He had faced 7 lefties in tight situations, he walked 3 of those guys and allowed a infield single. He only got 3 outs, none of them SOs. There’s a case to be made that there’s more to Romero than just being poor against RH hitters.

  11. marinersnate - Jun 17, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Anyone want to bet he will be a Yanker by Monday?

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