Tag Archives: Fernando Romero

77: Had a Ticket But it Got Cancelled

№ 77

Worn by: Tony Batista (2006); Fernando Romero (2018–2019)
Incumbent: Romero
Highest rWAR: Romero, 0.2
Lowest rWAR: Batista, -0.6
Best season: Romero, 0.4 (2018)
Worst season: Batista, -0.6 (2006)

Tony Batista played for the Twins fourteen years ago, which isn't long enough in the past to erase the memories. He was signed as a free agent after being released by the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, for whom he hit .263/.294/.463 in 591 PA in 2005. This was a period of maddening, self-thwarting, dumpster diving free agent signings that kept the Twins from capitalizing on the core of excellent players the organization had developed. (Also on the 2006 Twins: Ruben Sierra, Phil Nevin, Juan Castro, and RonDL White.) Who knows what Terry Ryan was told by scouts, but I'm guessing it led with "27 homers and 90 RBI." Batista, who wore Nº 7 in Ontario and Quebec, was definitely not getting that number in Baja Manitoba Minnesota. Nor was he getting the Nº 10 he wore in Arizona and Baltimore. Instead, Batista leapfrogged Joe Roa to claim the highest regular season jersey number issued by the Twins to that point.

Batista played exactly 50 games, all of them starts at third base, where he gave statues a bad name with -8 Runs Fielding in 434 innings. (Those interested in more traditional stats will observe the .954 fielding percentage and as many errors (6) as double plays turned (also 6).)

Batista was cut on 15 June. Somehow, the Twins survived Batista's performance and won the AL Central, finishing one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers. Jason Bartlett was called up to take his place on the active roster; Bartlett finished the season with 2.8 rWAR, good for 8th on the team.

No highlights survive of Tony Batista's time with the Twins because there were none to begin with.

Fernando Romero will be 25 this season, and is at a crossroads in his time with the Twins. Romero has stuff — Fangraphs rates his 95–97 mph fastball as a 70/70 — but walks have been a problem in his limited time in Minnesota. Romero has a 1.565 WHIP in 69.2 innings for the Twins, which a strikeout rate just a bit below 20% won't mitigate. He's been better than league average at keeping the ball in the park (SSS). A guy who throws hard and has an okay slider might find a spot in the bullpen, but the Twins aren't flush in fungible bullpen slots when they have guys who throw just as hard, and with better control and, thus far, results. Romero is out of options, so if he doesn't break camp with the Twins, he'll likely be wearing a different uniform the next time he reaches the majors.

 

Who claims ownership of jersey № 77?

  • Fernando Romero (54%, 7 Votes)
  • Tony Batista (46%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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2019 Recap: Game Thirty-six

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, May 10.

Batting stars:  Mitch Garver was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer (his eighth) and three walks, scoring twice.  Max Kepler was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.  Jorge Polanco was 1-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jake Odorizzi pitched seven shutout innings, giving up one hit and no walks and striking out five.  Matt Magill struck out two in a perfect inning.  Fernando Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  None.

The game:  Christin Stewart doubled with one out in the first, but did not get past third base.  That was the only baserunner the Tigers would get off Odorizzi, and the only runner they would get until the ninth.

Meanwhile, the first six Twins also went out.  After that, though, things got better.  In the third, Garver walked and Jonathan Schoop singled.  With one out, Kepler walked to load the bases and Polanco delivered a two-run double to put the Twins up 2-0.

In the fourth, Marwin Gonzalez was hit by a pitch and Garver followed with a home run, making the score 4-0.  Kepler led off the fifth with a home run to make it 5-0.  In the sixth, Gonzalez got an infield single and walks to GarverByron Buxton, and Polanco forced home a run to bring the score to 6-0.

The Tigers opened the ninth with singles by Grayson Greiner and JaCoby Jones, their first baserunners since the first inning.  A strikeout, a force out, and a lineout ended the inning and preserved the shutout.

WP:  Odorizzi (5-2).  LP:  Tyson Ross (1-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver is batting .364 with an OPS of 1.228.  Polanco is batting .341 with an OPS of 1.056.

Odorizzi has an ERA of 2.32.  If you could throw out the game against Philadelphia, his ERA would be 1.50.  He has not given up a run in his last three starts (twenty innings) and has struck out twenty over that span, allowing just seven hits and five walks.  Over his last five starts (31.1 innings) he has allowed three runs on twenty-one hits and six walks.  I think you could say he's on a roll.  He's obviously not going to keep that up all season--he'd win the Cy Young award unanimously if he did--but he's sure pitching well right now.

Fernando Romero is now unscored upon in his last five games.  Granted, it's only four innings, and he's allowed four hits and three walks.  Still, his ERA has come down from 11.25 to 5.62.  It's improvement.

Matt Magill is also unscored upon in his last three games (three innings).  He has struck out four and has allowed just one hit and no walks, dropping his ERA from 6.75 to 3.18.

There was a scary moment in the sixth inning when, on a play at first base, Gonzalez' head collided with the knee of Niko Goodrum.  Reports this morning are that Gonzalez has cleared the concussion protocol and is day-to-day, which is certainly good news.  I expect he won't play today, and maybe not tomorrow, but if the reports are correct and nothing else happens, he should be good to go soon.

The Twins have a record of 24-12.  That means they have won exactly two-thirds of their first thirty-six games.  Granted that it's still May, and thirty-six games represents just two-ninths of the schedule.  Granted, as well, that the Twins haven't always played the toughest schedule.  But even granting all that, winning two-thirds of your games over a thirty-six game span is an achievement.  It would be unusual for a bad team to be able to do that, even against weak competition.  Again, lots of things (injuries, slumps, etc.) can happen.  But it certainly appears that the Twins are a good baseball team this season.

Record:  The Twins are 24-12, first in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 150-12!

 

2019 Recap: Game Thirty

NEW YORK 6, MINNESOTA 3 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Friday, May 3.

Batting stars:  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-4.  Nelson Cruz was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his sixth, and a walk.

Pitching star:  Fernando Romero pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Gary Sanchez was 3-for-4 with two home runs, his ninth and tenth.  James Paxton pitched three innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and three walks and striking out one.  Jonathan Holder struck out two in two perfect innings.

The game:  An error and a walk put men on first and third with none out in the first for the Yankees, and Gleyber Torres hit a one-out single to put New York up 1-0.  The Twins got two singles and a walk in the second to load the bases with one out, but Ehire Adrianza hit into a double play to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning a walk, a hit batsman, and a Luke Voit RBI single made it 2-0.  Two walks and an error loaded the bases for the Twins again with one out again in the third and C. J. Cron's sacrifice fly brought home one, but that was all the Twins could do, leaving the score 2-1 Yankees.

That was as good as it got for them.  In the fourth New York played small ball--an error and a Cameron Maybin single put men on first and second with none out, a bunt advanced them to second and third, a wild pitch scored one, and a ground out scored another, making the score 4-1.  Sanchez homered leading off the fifth to make it 5-1 and he homered again with two out in the seventh to make it 6-1.

To the Twins credit, they didn't give up.  With two out in the eighth Jorge Polanco walked and Cruz hit a two-run homer to make it 6-3.  Gonzalez got as far as third base with one out in the ninth, but he was still there when the game ended.

WP:  Holder (2-0).  LP:  Kyle Gibson (2-1).  S:  Aroldis Chapman (6).

Notes:  Eddie Rosario was out of the lineup, with Gonzalez playing left field and Adrianza at third base.

Polanco was 0-for-3 with a walk and is batting .327.  Mitch Garver was 0-for-4 and is batting .308.  Cruz is batting .303.

I question the decision to sit Rosario down in this game.  I understand the reasoning--you're facing a tough lefty and he's been slumping.  But he hit a couple of balls hard in the last game, even though they went for outs.  I think sitting him down just gives him reasons to question himself and to think Rocco is losing confidence in him.  I'm not saying it was an obviously stupid move or anything.  I just wouldn't have done it.

The game log seems to be divided between criticism of Gibson, criticism of the defense, and criticism of the plate umpire.  I was not around for the game, so it's hard for me to say.  Gibson gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks and threw 100 pitches in just five innings, which doesn't sound good.  On the other had, three of the runs were unearned, and when you make your pitcher get four outs per inning he's going to have to throw more pitches and is probably going to allow more runs.  And Gibson is not a pitcher who can throw the ball over the center of the plate and get away with it, so if he's not getting the corners he's going to be in trouble.  Perhaps there was plenty of blame to go around, I don't know.

I think there were some positives that came out of this game, though.  The Twins never gave up any big innings, despite the errors.  In other words, they didn't collapse just because things went against them.  They had chances to score early on.  They got a couple of late runs to kind of get back into the game.  They were able to get three innings out of the tail end of the bullpen (and in fact both Mike Morin and Romero pitched pretty well), leaving the front end rested and ready for today.  This just has the feel of an ordinary baseball loss, and nothing more.

I realize that's not going to be the popular take.  The popular take is going to be "Here we go again.  Same old Twins.  The Yankees are in their heads.  They're intimidated.  The Yankees own them."  Blah, blah, blah.  And of course, people are going to keep saying that, and writing it, until the Twins do something about it.  Maybe today is the day they start doing something about it.  If they're going to win a game in this series, today looks like their best chance.

Record:  The Twins are 19-11, first in the American League Central, two games ahead of Clevelnd.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 151-11!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-seven

HOUSTON 11, MINNESOTA 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, April 30.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Fernando Romero struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Gerrit Cole struck out eleven in seven shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.  Michael Brantley was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Josh Reddick was 3-for-5.  Carlos Correa was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  George Springer was 2-for-5 with a home run (his ninth) and a double, scoring twice and driving in two.  Jake Marisnick was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second), a hit-by-pitch, and a stolen base, scoring twice.  Alex Bregman was 1-for-5 with a home run (his fifth) and a walk.

The game:  The Twins opened the bottom of the first with walks to Kepler and Jorge Polanco.  Nelson Cruz then hit a very hard smash right at shortstop Correa, who turned it into a double play.  That was pretty much the last chance the Twins had.

The game didn't fall apart right away.  The Astros were hitting lots of balls hard from the start, but between atom balls and good defense they didn't score until the third, when Marisnick was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a Springer double.  Houston left the bases loaded in the fourth, but scored two more in the fifth.  Springer led off the inning with a home run to make it 2-0.  Jose Altuve then doubled, went to third on an infield single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Then the roof fell in, if Target Field actually had a roof.  In the sixth Robinson Chirinos singled and Marisnick hit a two-run homer.  With two out, Bregman homered, Brantley doubled, and Correa had an RBI single, making the score 7-0.  In the eighth, Springer walked and Tyler White singled.  With one out, walks to Brantley and Correa brought home a run.  Reddick had an RBI single, Aledmys Diaz had a sacrifice fly, and an error brought home another run, bringing the score to 11-0.

The Twins offense was basically doing nothing through all this.  They did not get a hit until the sixth, when Kepler doubled.  They loaded the bases in the eighth but did not score.  And that was pretty much it.

WP:  Cole (2-4).  LP:  Michael Pineda (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Ehire Adrianza was at third base, with Marwin Gonzalez on the bench.

Polanco was 0-for-2 with two walks and is batting .320.

Pineda pitched five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out two.

Ryne Harper pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit.  His ERA is 2.31.

For the most part, I've thought Rocco has handled the pitching staff fairly well, but he did a couple of things in this game that left me scratching my head.  The first is letting Pineda start the sixth inning.  The Astros were hitting shots off him from the first inning on, and it was just good defense and good luck that kept the Twins somewhat in the game through five innings.  It was suggested in the game log that Rocco was hoping to get another inning out of Pineda to save the bullpen, but as has been said many times, hope is not a strategy.  There was no real reason to think Pineda would get through the sixth, and in fact he didn't even record an out.  All we accomplished by letting him start the sixth is to make sure the game was out of reach before we went to the bullpen.

I'm sure that, when Rocco did go to the bullpen, the plan was to use Magill for two innings and Mejia for two innings.  Magill didn't exactly blow anyone away, but at least he filled up his innings.  Mejia couldn't even do that.  I can't fault Rocco for pulling Mejia.  It's one thing when a pitcher is getting hit hard--you figure that eventually either they'll hit some balls at people or they'll get tired of running around the bases and get themselves out.  But when a guy can't throw strikes, there's not much you can do but take him out.

What I don't understand, though, is why he went to Harper in that situation.  Harper has done well enough not to be considered a blowout pitcher.  You had Romero available, and in fact they went to him in the ninth.  Why not bring him into the game in the eighth?  If he can't throw 1.2 innings of a blowout game, why is he on the team?  Harper can probably pitch again tonight, but probably not for more than one inning.  Had they used Romero, Harper would be available for two or three tonight.  I don't understand it.

It should be pointed out, of course, that the way the Twins batted last night they could've brought in Sandy Koufax in the sixth inning and it wouldn't have made any difference.

It's a long season, and you'll have games like this once in a while.  The point is not to have very many of them.  Let's come back strong tonight!

Record:  The Twins are 17-10, first in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 152-10!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-three

MINNESOTA 6, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, April 26.

Batting stars:  Nelson Cruz was 3-for-4 with two home runs, his fourth and fifth.  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.  C. J. Cron was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fourth.  Eddie Rosario was 1-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh) and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Martin Perez pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks and striking out four.  Ryne Harper pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Fernando Romero struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Trey Mancini was 3-for-5 with a double.  Jonathan Villar was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Gabriel Ynoa pitched 3.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out one.

The game:  With two out in the first, the Twins hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, with CruzRosario, and Cron all going deep to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.  The Twins missed a chance to add to their lead in the second, as they put men on first and second with none out and did not score.  In the third, however, Rosario singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an error to make it 4-0.

The Orioles, who did not have a baserunner through three innings, opened the fourth with consecutive singles, but a double play took them out of the inning.  Meanwhile, Kepler homered in the fourth and Cruz hit his second homer of the game in the fifth to make the margin 6-0.

The Orioles sixth opened the same way their fourth had, with consecutive singles by Villar and Mancini.  This time there was no double play, however, and a one-out single by Dwight Smith got Baltimore on the board at 6-1.  They threatened in the eighth, as a Mancini double and two-out walks to Smith and Rio Ruiz loaded the bases.  Trevor May came in and retired Hanser Alberto on a force out.  Baltimore also put a couple of men on in the ninth but again did not score.

WP:  Perez (3-0).  LP:  Alex Cobb (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mitch Garver was 1-for-3 with a walk and is batting .400.  Jorge Polanco was 0-for-4 and is batting .349.  Willians Astudillo was 1-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and is batting .313.  Cruz raised his average to .308.

Harper lowered his ERA to 2.45.  Matt Magill made his season debut and pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and two walks but no runs, so his ERA is zero.

As you can see, the Twins hit five solo home runs in this game.  I don't know what the record is for solo home runs in a game, but I'd think five has to be fairly close.  If you just look at most solo home runs without getting any other kind of home run, it seems like it'd be even closer.

It was kind of lost in all the home runs, and kind of discounted because they were playing the Orioles, but Perez had another fine game.  I was pretty skeptical about Perez when the Twins acquired him, and his first few relief appearances did nothing to dim my skepticism.  In his three starts, however, he has pitched very well.  He has pitched six innings in each game and has given up six runs, giving him an ERA of 3.00 with a WHIP of 1.17.  He has struck out eleven and walked just three.  We'll see if he can keep it going, but so far he's pitched quite well as a starter.

I don't know why A-Stud didn't start on La Tortuga night, but you can't argue with the results.  I've said before that I have no idea how Rocco decides who his catcher is going to be on a given night, and that continues to be true.  I assume he has a method, that it's not just random, but he doesn't seem to want to tell anyone what it is.  And that's fine--he doesn't owe it to me or anyone else to explain how he chooses his lineup, and I haven't heard anything about any of the players complaining.  Winning helps a lot with that, of course.

One can feel a bit for the Orioles fans.  We've all rooted for some bad Twins teams, and we know it's not any fun.  But there's nothing we can do for them, just as no one did anything for us when the Twins stunk.  The Twins are doing what you're supposed to do with bad teams--take care of business and beat them.  The Orioles will be good again someday, and I'm sure they'll return the favor to us if they can.  That's just how it works.

Record:  The Twins are 14-9, in first place in the American League Central, leading Cleveland by percentage points.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 153-9!

Game 41: brewers @ twins

Is it happening?

Experts seem to think that the AL Central could be won by a sub-500 team. That...seems possible,but it seems just as possible that the Indians could win the division by twenty if the Twins can't get it going.

Fernando Romero might be the right guy to do it. He's given up one run in three starts ,after all. I expect that this is a sustainable pace. So, I'm running the Brewers are thing to score zero runs. So that's good.

Hope the bats can beat that.

(somehow, there was not a Fernando Romero tag. I have fixed that. The first of many, hopefully.)