Phillies activate Romero; Should he be closer?

On the 28th of September, the Phillies activated J.C. Romero from the 15-day disabled list.


Romero had been knocked out since August 4th with a forearm strain, this coming after missing the first 50 days of the season thanks to a positive test for PEDs.

As a result, the left-hander has appeared in only 16.2 innings on the season, although he’s been his typical National League self in that time.

Romero will never be considered a strike-thrower. His career average for BB/9 is a scintillating 5.0, although he hasn’t been below 5.2 since 2004. Indeed, if you summarize his last three years, that ratio skyrockets to 6.2. (Romero spent the beginning of 2007 with the Red Sox before joining the Phillies.)

What the 33-year old has going for himself is his 7.2 K/9 rate and his obscenely high-80 percent strand rate over the last three years. Make no mistake about it: Romero is a very lucky guy who constantly puts batters on base and then shoves a dagger in their hearts. Kind of like Daisuke Matsuzaka that way.

Romero has been doing this for three years in the National League, and despite his pure, dumb luck, he keeps getting it done. That fact alone is going to make him a candidate to close games out in October.

Brad Lidge simply can’t be trusted anymore, not with his 11 blown saves and 7.38 ERA. People are suggesting Ryan Madson. No, not at all. Madson has blown six saves to go along with 10 notched, which gives him a failure rate of 38 percent. Lidge is at 26 percent. The only thing Madson has going for him is the ERA at 3.18. It makes it all the more curious why he’s had so many difficulties nailing saves down, but you can’t trust him with even a three-run lead in the ninth inning. You just can’t. He’s a great eighth inning guy, but that’s all he is at this point. (Read more about Ryan Madson’s ‘deal with the devil’ in becoming a great setup man.)

The job, then, needs to fall to either Mr. Romero — who can at least pitch himself out of trouble, something Lidge and Madson can’t do — or hope Brett Myers comes back nice and strong from straining his right latissimus muscle a couple weeks ago. Given that Myers has had difficulty getting and staying on the field the entire year, don’t be surprised to see J.C. staring down Albert Pujols in the ninth inning come October.

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  1. John McGuinness said...

    The six blown saves for Madson are somewhat deceiving, at least in relation to his save total, since blown holds are considered blown saves—i.e. if he came in to the game in the eight with the Phils ahead by one and gave up a run, that would be a “blown save” even if it was always very unlikely he would have finished the game.

    They should combine saves, blown saves, and holds into one conversion stat.

  2. Nick Steiner said...

    Also, like any stat, past performance isn’t always a great indicator of future performance.  Madson’s great run prevention skills suggest that he should be able to get the job done in the 9th going forward – he’s probably a safer bet than Romero who hasn’t pitched in forever.

  3. GrandSlamSingle said...

    “The only thing Madson has going for him is the ERA at 3.18.”

    Well that, and a K/9 of 9.0 and a K/BB of 3.62 for the season.

    Romero is still having problems with his arm, so he’s looking very doubtful to make the postseason roster at this point.

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