Twins skipper Paul Molitor announced today that the club would promote top pitching prospect Fernando Romero to join the rotation, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN was among those to tweet. He’ll take the ball on Wednesday night.
Romero, 23, has steadily moved up the ladder since entering the Twins’ system in 2012. He cracked the top-100 prospect lists of MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus entering the current season, following a year in which he threw 125 innings of 3.53 ERA ball, with 8.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 along with a 52.0% groundball rate, at the Double-A level.
The results have continued into the 2018 season, as Romero has now held opposing teams to a 2.57 earned run average through 21 frames in his first few outings at the Triple-A level. He’s continuing to get plenty of groundballs with his high-velocity sinker, though his 20:10 K/BB ratio isn’t exactly scintillating and may hint at the need for further refinement of his slider and change.
Some prospect hounds see some risk in Romero’s profile, particularly as to whether he’ll have long-term health issues and/or whether he’ll stick in the rotation. For now, though, they’ll bet on his talent with the organization badly in need of a shot in the arm after a 9-14 start to the season.
Fellow righty Phil Hughes will be bumped into a relief role to accommodate Romero’s move into the rotation, though a roster move has yet to be announced. Hughes was knocked around in two poor starts to open the year, and is coming off of two consecutive poor and injury-plagued seasons, so he’ll look to get back on track in the bullpen.