He doesn't have a Safeco locker yet, but I'm sure he can sniff it after the moves today. Let's watch his reaction tonight. I will be interested. If he makes it, it is because he can play LF/RF/3B/2B and he can hurt the ball some. Flexibility counts. There, I've said it again. I'm not sure Z gets that it point, but McClendon seems to. Does Romero have the bat of Morrison? I dunno'? But I've said all along that we weren't going to go into the season with Bloomquist as our only IF bench guy. As a 4th OF and back-up IF, Romero doesn't have to be great, mind you. He needs to be able! .255-.300-.400 will do. More than that is gravy. Walk a few more times and you're Saunders. Slug .425 and you're almost Viciedo. Romero "slumped" to .277-.331-.448 at Tacoma last year. Viciedo's 1st AAA go-'round was .274-.308-.493. Preliminary indications are that Romero can be a helpful MLB guy. More and more it looks like we will really get to see.
Q. First, the bad. Just so's we know that Doc has his head about him.
A. It's mystifying. He's played in the two TV games we've seen, and several times he has swung right through 91 MPH fastballs. I don't get that.
We're not talking about guessing curve, getting heat ... (er, I don't think so, anyway. Could that be it?). We're talking about being right on the pitch, timing-wise, and just not seeing the ball.
If you've never seen big league baseball on TV? Major league hitters don't anticipate 91 MPH fastballs, swing, and miss them. Almost never. It's like 3% of those swings that miss. (Unless it's outside the strike zone, or they're late, or whatever.) We've seen Romero do that, several times, in two games.
He's got 31 AB's in spring training and a 1:8 EYE (walk:strikeout) ratio. These strikeouts ain't coming against David Price. It also ain't because he's fishing for sucker pitches outside the zone. Romero has THE worst EYE ratio in camp.
Q. Chalk it up to spring training?
A. Well, Robinson Cano has 3 walks, 1 strikeout, and zero swings through 91 MPH fastballs. But yeah.
Q. Okay. It's not fatal, we don't assume. Obviously it's not bothering the Mariners.
A. Romero is really letting the bat fly.
He's cracked us up several times. He does that fall-into-the-plate, throw-the-ball-into-the-LF-third-deck thing half the time. I mean this guy is going for 450 feet on almost every swing.
Honestly, some of his swings would have been hilarious if they came in HR Derby. He falls out over the plate with his left side up in the cheaps.
I don't say it's the death of him. It's just that this spring, he's got the sabermetric profile of --- > Giancarlo Stanton. Or Juan Gonzalez. Extreme power with a lousy EYE ratio -- a lousy EYE ratio based not on lack of strike zone control, but based on ambition.
There. I lost you as a friend, and won you back, in 200 words :- )
Q. Refresh my memory ... what's different about Stefen Romero and, say, Carlos Triunfel?
A. In July 2012, the best blog in Seattle graciously provided you an 8-part analysis of Romero's swing and career arc. On this one, we can /cosign our first take, these 18 months on. :: winning Anthony Hopkins smile ::
HERE IS THE FIRST CHAPTER and you can click the follow-on links through the series, if so desired. The Exec Sum:
- is a naturally relaxed and confident competitor, the anti-Smoak, somewhat like Felix
- He gets a Nick Franklin-like stretch between back foot and front arm
- Dr. D's big complaint was his "glide" forward, but (1) Aaron did this and (2) we haven't seen it this spring
- Romero's wrists and forearms are extra class (his "load" is compact and quick) ...
- ... because he's light on his feet, very powerful for his size (NFL strong safety size)
- Pedro Grifol sees Romero as a star in the big leagues
- If you want a template, it's not unreasonable to look at Longoria and Tulowitzki
Zduriencik has been tearing through these prospects like a continental chef tossing rutabagas over his shoulder trying to find the one that will win him the cookoff. I think we all can agree that Romero has a very real chance to be "The Find."
Q. Could he actually play outfield, like, other than to just shag fly balls in BP?
A. As well as Corey Hart on ruined knees, you mean? How high is the Mariners' RF bar, anyway? Start 'im in K-Pax games...
Remember, though, Stefen Romero has been primarily a SECOND baseman. He's played lots of OF in the minors, too. Youth is the #1 thing in the outfield, so Dr. D will safely assume that Romero's RF play would exceed Corey Hart's.
Q. What's this thing Zduriencik says, that young players absolutely have to play every day?
A. It flatly contradicts all of baseball history. We mean it in a good way.
Earl would get every hotshot pheenom from Rochester, call him up, and tell him "I don't know how much you'll play. If I guarantee you time, and you go 2-for-50, I'm out of a job."
We assume that Zduriencik is posturing for the Rays and Mets there. ... Yes, SSI is just fine with the M's easing in their blue-chip talent. Let them hang around, let them get a soft landing - what's wrong with that.
And then when Romero is slugging .500 on May 15, give him the job :- )
Q. SSI signs off on Romero over Montero?
A. With gusto.
CYWYNPWTP? Just give me a dynamic choice and I'm good.