Phillies: Three young relievers who could crack the roster
I really wanted to put Francisco Morales here, but he’s just too young, and has limited experience against professional hitters. However, JoJo Romero is the perfect candidate for someone who could force themselves on the roster.
Romero is currently the number 8 prospect in the organization, and was a dominant force in Double A in 2018 and 2019. In 29 career starts, Romero logged 152 strikeouts in 163.1 innings, allowing 155 hits and walk percentages at 9.1% and 5.1%, respectively. Romero was on the fast track to the majors, until he stumbled in Triple A ball.
Over 13 starts and 53.2 innings, his ERA blow up to 6.88, while his walk% ballooned to 13.4% and his strikeout% dropped to 15.3%. There are obvious problems with his numbers as Romero transitioned to higher ball, but his abilities that he displayed at the Double A level are a sign of optimism.
Romero has the opportunity to prove his worth at spring training this year, as he did in 2019, where he gave up four hits, four walks, and one earned run while facing 32 batters. He will most likely see an increase in quality of opposition this spring, which will go a long way in determining if he can handle the load of facing big league hitters, given that he faced Double A quality hitters last year.
Yet, of the current pitching prospects, Romero probably has the greatest shot at being called upon as a reliever, with the Phillies seemingly unwilling to adjust the roles of top pitching prospects Spencer Howard and Adonis Medina.
He’s still a long shot to make the team, but I’d love to see him break into the league with a dominant spring training.