Nats Sign JC Romero
Such is the nature of being a Nats blogger these days. By now I am certain that not only have you heard the news about JC Romero, but that if you have read a post on the internet about it, it was from someone better than I. Still, though, I will voyage on and pound out my JC Romero manifesto on this keyboard here, because I feel the need to keep my mind fresh until there comes a time when there is real and actual news or I have an epiphany of something good and/or entertaining to write. As the Nats have been utterly boring this spring and the best of all news would be for them to be utterly boring during the season that aforementioned time may never come to pass and any creativity I have left will whither and die like a well salted slug.
JC Romero is a pitcher. Beyond that he is a left handed pitcher who can sometime throw the ball to the plate (5.1 career BB/9), and sometimes when he gets the ball over the plate it is not hammered for an extra base hit (0.8 career HR/9). He is also a pitcher with a chance to strike a batter out (7.2 career K/9). The most important thing about JC Romero is that he is left handed and being such gives him an advantage in finding a job despite the fact that he is a career 4.16 ERA reliever at the advanced age of 36. JC Romero is the typical lefty hanging on at, what for a right hander would be past the end of a career, because he has a near .200 difference in OPS versus left handers (.612) as opposed to right handers (.817).
If the name JC Romero sounds familiar to you it is because he was once signed to a minor league deal by the Nationals. He was part of the Nationals system in 2011 when he was also part of the Rockies, Yankees, and Phillies systems, and pitched a total of 24 2/3 major league innings with a 4.01 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 5.5 BB/9. Despite the fact that Romero kept opting out of minor league deals in 2011 he was very much a minor league pitcher and much could be said about his 2012 where he spent time as part of the Orioles and Indians farm systems and pitched 12 major league innings with a 9.00 ERA with the Orioles and Cardinals. The recent exploits of JC Romero are not the least bit interesting in nothing other than the fact they can be said to have occurred and even that is something more that watched would like to forget.
Now Romero is being plunged into the depths of the Nationals farm system along with fellow forgettable lefties Bill Bray and Fernando Abad. They will trudge forward undeterred hoping for injury or under-performance so that they will one day be called up much as Mike Gonzalez was on June 3, 2012. With that chance they will pitch to nothing but lefties one batter at a time and a team like the Brewers will think they have found it again and give them a major league contract. This may happen or JC Romero will opt out again and venture from minor league organization to minor league organization until he comes across a team desperate enough to give him a shot. Once in the majors he will either pitch well or poorly, but given his recent history most likely poorly and then repeat the cycle next season.
If a human being exists that is left handed and can throw a baseball they will never be out of work, and if JC Romero can't cut it then 43 year old Arthur Rhodes and 42 year old Darren Oliver are both still free agents. Either that or the Nats will realize that a lefty for a sake of a lefty is a mistake and that Erik Davis is the most talented and most deserving of a call-up in case of injury. That none of the platoon of lefties the Nats have signed give them near enough of a platoon advantage as the talent gap that exists between them and the rest of the bullpen.