Year In Review: J.C. Romero – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

Year In Review: J.C. Romero

J.C. Romero, in my opinion, is one of those guys that kind of got lost in the mix of things this past season.  Although he made 60 appearances, many of them escape my memory. Romero was always one of the most animated relievers leaving the field after a big out. But when 2009 started off with a suspension and continued through injuries, it seemed he lost some of that fire he had once stoked.

Romero started 2010 on the DL after having surgery in the off season on his pitching elbow.  Once returning to the Phillies, Charlie Manuel used him mainly against lefties and usually only for an out or two.  He was asked to close at times converting three of six save opportunities.

As he did in 2009, Romero had some issues with his control.  For the second straight year his walk count was one higher than his strikeouts (29/28).  One of the biggest things, literally, about this season was Romero’s WHIP.  Although not a career high at 1.61, it was his highest since his 2003 season with Minnesota.

Romero’s ERA was up again this year after staying below three for the past three season.  His mark of 3.68, although high for Romero, was pretty much even keel for the Phillies bullpen who as a whole had an ERA of 3.67.

When you look at Romero’s numbers from a distance they don’t seem that bad.  A sub-four ERA with 60 appearances for a spot reliever is not the best, but I guess it could have been worse.  However, when you have a guy like Romero who is supposed to a lefty specialist and he is struggling with his command it’s hard to justify keeping him around.

This is exactly how Ruben Amaro Jr. felt.  The Phillies opted to decline his $4.5 million club option for next season.  They will end up giving him a $250,000 buyout and allow him to become a free agent.

Amaro had this to say about the reliever, “He had some struggles this year and last year a little bit, health-wise and command-wise.  He’s not someone that’s not in the picture for us. This doesn’t preclude us from having a further relationship with him, but at least at this time, his $4.5 million salary isn’t warranted at this stage of the game.”

I don’t see the Phillies going after Romero this offseason.  I think they will look outside the organization for a lefty for the pen.

Overall, I feel Romero underachieved in the position he was supposed to hold.  His walks and ERA, in the amount of innings pitched,  were a little too high for my comfort zone.  However, he did get some bigs out.  Which is why I am 50/50 on him this season.  Hence my grade.

2010 numbers: 60 games, 36.2 innings, 1-0, 3.68 ERA, 28 K, 29 BB, 1.61 WHIP


PAT GALLEN’S GRADE: 3.9/10 – Romero was paid a lot of money and simply wasn’t very good. He was good for nearly a walk an inning when he did pitch, meaning he gave the other team a head start with a man on base. For a guy who pitches less than an inning on average, that can’t happen.



  1. Bart Shart

    November 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I agree that Romero was a disappointment. I read that the Phils were considering Reyes , a lefty who pitched for the Cards the last two years. One wonders how much Romero depended on performance enhancing drugs during his career. In a nutshell, Romero simply was not worth the money he was paid — a bad investment overall.

  2. The Original Chuck P

    November 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Romero was bad… his command issues were very problematic. You need a lefty specialist who can throw strikes- end of story. If he walks the one batter we’re counting on him to pitch to, it does us no good.

  3. MikeB.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Everyone is pretty much right about Romero. Just hope that if he catches on with another team that it is at least in the AL. Hoping that he will not be another player who comes back and haunts the Phils should he regain his effectiveness with another club.

  4. Bruce

    November 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Romero and Durbin (he was not offer arbitration) out of the mix in the bullpen. Hmm..m, certainly a makeover coming on the bridge to Lidge.

  5. Marc H

    November 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Good riddance….

  6. Ryan H.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Romero fell off a cliff with suspensions and injuries. good riddance. loved ya in 08 but it was shortlived and you’re done now. always and forever a WFC though.

  7. Ryan H.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I never considered Romeo a “lefty specialist’. that is downplaying his role. when he was on top of his game, he was dominant late inning 1-2-3 shut down reliever. a lefty specialist was more like Scott Eyre.

  8. Dan

    November 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I just remember that Charlie Manuel was very reluctant to use J.C. I also remember Wheels not wanting to see him come in either. He was often wild and surrendered hits. We really did not have one effective lefthander in our bullpen last year, because Bastardo was too raw and Zagurski clearly needs some time to settle down in the big leagues. The problem with these two is that it’s hard to get guys experience on a team like the Phils who are trying to get to the playoffs and need wins. For me, Bastardo has more upside than Zagurski. His outings were, it seems to me, always disastrous and I don’t know if he has what it takes to stick aorund with the big club. Manuel kept trying to get J.C. back on track and I don’t remember it ever happening. There’s no way you can reward J.C. with a contract after this season. Like Dobbs, he may have talent but there is no basis for bringing him back.

  9. brooks

    November 27, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Thumbs down on Romero and double thumbs down on Zags. He was a fillin when the Phils were being pummled and he made sure to give up more. Zags needs another job, not more time in the minors.

  10. brooks

    November 27, 2010 at 6:14 am

    I have probably seen Zags pitch maybe 7 times. Maybe 2 times out of 7 he did not “give it up”. Really?

    If he is going to get another shot in MLB, let him do it somewhere else.

  11. MikeB.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Did not Zagurski have Tommy Johns surgery or some other serious type of elbow surgery within the last two or three years?

  12. Ted Bell

    November 27, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Former Phillie pitcher Tommy Underwood passed away this week. He broke into the majors as a Phillie and had a couple of nice seasons before being traded for Bake McBride in 1977.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  13. Chuck

    November 27, 2010 at 9:19 am

    “Good riddance” might be a little harsh….but I agree that J.C. probably needs to be somewhere else. He didn’t really do the job that was asked of him…especially with his salary what it was.

    NO to Zagurski!!

  14. Lefty

    November 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

    BuhBye JC, Thanks for a decent 2008.

    I disagree on Zagurski guys, not that he’s got a great upside, I just think it’s still too early to tell. His numbers in the minors, while they don’t “knock your socks off” are indicative of a guy that might be able to provide decent middle relief at the next level.

    The problem with youth (Yes I consider Zags at 27 young) is you have to be patient with them. I see all kinds of posts here calling for us to get younger, but not enough patience. Same with Dom Brown, he’ll get better, the raw skills are there, but we have to be patient.

    IMO – You can’t infuse youth into a ballclub without a lot of patience. And you can’t have it both ways, either you want to get younger in spots while still contending or you don’t.

    @ Ryan H.- If you’re a left handed pitcher and you don’t start; you’re a lefty specialist. Trust me when I tell you I know from personal experience 🙂

  15. Lefty

    November 27, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Wow, Underwood was relatively young. RIP

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