Ricky Romero is fresh off the best week of his young career. On Tuesday he threw 8 innings, struck out 12 White Sox, and only allowed an Alex Rios homerun on the way to victory. He followed this up on Sunday with another 8 innings, striking out 6 and allowing 1 earned run and 7 base runners. Is this the best of what we can expect from Romero, or is this just the start of an extremely successful year?
2009 was Romero's first season in the Majors. He posted a 13-9 record in 29 starts, throwing 178 innings. In those innings, he struck out 141 batters, walked 79, allowed 192 hits and 18 homeruns. These all led to a strikeout/9 rate of 7.13, walks/9 of 4.00, and a HR/9 rate of 0.91. In addition, he also had a BABIP of .325 and a LD/GB/FB split of 19.4%/54%/26.6%
In the minors, Romero posted strikeout rates of 8.02, 5.77, and 8.15 in substantial innings split between AA and AAA. In the same period. he posted walk rates of 4.22, 4.07, and 5.20. Clearly his control was of some concern, as that is a lot of walks for any pitcher.
My thoughts after the Jump...
Can He Continue this Early Season Success?
To this point, Romero has limited his walks, having only 6 so far in 23 innings. While still not elite control, it is definitely improved. The strikeouts appear to be legitimate, although 12 in a start seems unlikely. I think that if he can maintain this level of control, coupled with the high strikeout rate he has shown so far (22 in 23 innings), he will be well on his way to a very very good season.