Phillies promote JoJo Romero, send down Austin Davis
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have promoted their No. 15-ranked prospect to the majors
Two Philadelphia Phillies prospects made their Major League debuts in Thursday’s series finale loss to the Baltimore Orioles — third baseman Alec Bohm and right-handed reliever Connor Brogdon.
Now, a third could debut in just as short as two games. Ahead of Friday’s series opener against their division-rival New York Mets, the Phillies promoted left-hander JoJo Romero and optioned fellow southpaw Austin Davis to their alternate training site in Lehigh Valley.
The organization also announced that right-handed pitchers Enyel De Los Santos and Trevor Kelley cleared waivers and were outrighted to Lehigh Valley.
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According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Romero’s addition is in case the team needs length in Friday’s game, with rookie Spencer Howard set to take the mound for his second career start. Howard was to supposed to face perennial Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom, however, the Mets right-hander has since been scratched.
Romero, who will turn 24 next month, was drafted by the Phillies in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.
Romero has been used as a starting pitcher for nearly the entirety of his professional career, excluding eight appearances in last fall’s Arizona Fall League where he posted a stellar combined 0.84 ERA and 0.938 WHIP spanning 10 2/3 innings.
The Camarillo, California, native received his first taste of Triple-A ball in 2019, albeit posting a 3-5 record, 6.88 ERA, and 40-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 13 starts and 53 2/3 innings.
In 2019, MLBPipeline.com listed Romero as the Phillies’ 10th-best prospect, describing him having a “full repertoire of weapons at his disposal.”
“He’ll throw both a four- and two-seam fastball and can still get the former up to 95 mph, while he sinks the latter in the low 90s to get groundball outs,” MLB Pipeline writes. “The life and deception he uses to throw his fastball allows it to nearly play up to a plus pitch.”
“Both of his breaking balls will flash above-average and he mixes in a cutter to go along with a changeup that is plus at times.”
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The left-hander moved down five spots in the 2020 Phillies top prospects rankings.
The 27-year-old Davis’ demotion is yet another in his career that has largely bounced between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. In four appearances and three innings this season, Davis yielded10 hits, seven runs (all earned), one home run, and one walk en route to a 21.00 ERA and 3.667 WHIP.
Davis previously posted a 6.53 ERA in 2019 (14 games, 20 2/3 innings) and 4.15 ERA in 2018 (32 games, 34 2/3 innings) with the Phillies.