It’s difficult to see how J.C. Romero became a free agent in 2007. Afterall, he had a 3.15 ERA for the first-place Red Sox. Not bad. But for whatever reason, Romero wasn’t a good fit in Boston and he was let loose midseason to the open market. General Manager Pat Gillick swooped in, picked Romero up, and the rest is history.
Romero led all Phillies relievers in ERA (1.24 in 36.1 IP) in 2007, helping stabilizing one of the worst bullpens in the Major Leagues en route to the first of five-straight NL East division crown. Romero would post a 2.73 ERA while with the Phillies in 165 regular season IP, earning two wins in the 2008 World Series as the Phillies marched to a Fall Classic victory. Romero would be second in appearances and holds on the Phillies from 2007 through 2011 only behind Ryan Madson. Aside from a hiccup in 2007, Romero was dynamite in the postseason with the Phils striking out eight in 10.1 IP with a 0.87 ERA, a .147 BAA, and a .216 OBPA with two wins and four holds.
Romero was with the Phillies during all five division-winning seasons but was released midway through the 2011 campaign and signed with Colorado. Romero’s 2011 was a bit misleading; always a left-handed specialist, Romero continued to thrive in that role (.231 BAA) but struggled mightily against righties in what were bad match ups (.322 BAA, .429 OBPA). Romero would retire after the 2013 season, last playing in the Majors in 2012.