Cincinnati Reds’ rookie phenom Sal Romano continues his march to the rotation

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Sal Romano continues to impress the Cincinnati Reds as he makes his case to be in the starting rotation.

With each start this spring for the Cincinnati Reds Sal Romano is taking one step closer to the starting rotation.  Romano is now five appearances, including a start, into his audition to make the starting rotation.  Nothing he has done should slow him down.  He started out hoping to make the bullpen, but looks positioned to be in the starting rotation.

In his last appearance Romano threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run.  He also struck out seven batters over the limited time.  More importantly, he walked only one batter.

The one issue that may prevent him from making the team is that the Reds used him as the third pitcher in the game.  They are treating him like a Triple-A innings eater.  Meanwhile, he has had a better spring than any other potential starter for the Reds.

So far this spring, Romano owns an impressive 1.17 ERA to go with a 0.91 WHIP.  He is first in both categories for a pitcher with more than 7 innings.  His 19 strikeouts also lead the Reds this spring.

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Looking at the preparation patterns, Romano looks to be in the rotation with Amir Garrett, Brandon Finnegan and possibly Robert Stephenson.  They have been allowed to face the most batters.  Scott Feldman, who is the Reds’ fallback option, has faced less batters than end of game reliever Michael Lorenzen.

Sal Romano will make the Cincinnati Reds’ rotation unless they want to showcase Scott Feldman and Bronson Arroyo.

The Cincinnati Reds need to know what type of pitcher Romano is.

Sooner than later, they need to figure out who will be an MLB starter and who will be a reliever.  The time to begin that assessment is now.

The only way that they don’t do that is if they see Feldman and Arroyo as highly movable pieces.  The Reds may see Arroyo and Feldman as significantly more valuable as trade pieces if they are starters.  In that case, Romano may be left in Triple-A, so he can get 25 starts in his regular turn this season.

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So it all comes back to the management.  What will Dick Williams do?  Will he let the phenom of the Reds show us all what it is about or will he send an MLB ready pitcher back to Triple-A to rot on the vine?  Given the injury history with the pitchers, it may be best that the Reds leave him in Louisville.  That just doesn’t sit well with the fans.