2. Sal Romano, Reds right-handed pitcher
Strange as it may seem, Sal Romano is in a very similar boat to José De León. At one time, Romano was thought to be part of the Reds rotation. However, it wasn’t injuries that kept Big Sally from reaching his potential, but rather his penchant for giving up the long ball. Romano struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark in 2019 and was eventually let go.
But, Romano was given a second chance and received an invite to spring training last season. Sitting at Prasco Park throughout the majority of the 2020 season, Romano eventually made it to the big leagues once again. Appearing in two games during the close of last season, Big Sally didn’t allow a single hit; granted he only faced four batters.
Romano may essentially be pitching for his baseball life this spring. With no minor-league options remaining, Romano has to make the team out of spring training or just like De León, the big righty will be exposed to waivers.
Sal Romano has some giddy-up on his fastball. Relying almost exclusively on a fastball/ slider combo the past two seasons, Romano has the makings of a power arm out of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen who pitches to contact. However, Romano has to show improvement this spring, and it sounds as though he’s changed his approach with the help of the Cincinnati coaching staff.
Speaking to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Romano spoke about learning that there’s more to pitching than just throwing the ball really hard. If Sal Romano is able to miss bats during Cactus League play, he could earn a spot on the Opening Day roster and be a key piece of the Reds bullpen in 2021.