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A look at new Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Enny Romero

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The Pittsburgh Pirates made a move to bolster their bullpen by once again grabbing a Washington Nationals lefty.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have once again turned to the Washington Nationals for a reliever, this time claiming LHP Enny Romero off of waivers.

Here’s what the Pittsburgh Pirates are getting with their new bullpen toy.

Career to date

table courtesy Baseball-Reference

Profile and performance

Much like Felipe Vazquez, Romero is a hard-throwing lefty who has racked up 131 appearances over parts of five years in the majors. To put it mildly, he has struggled in 2018. Yet, the Pittsburgh Pirates are likely enamored with the strikeout ability he has shown in his career to this point. His 2017 strikeout rate clocked in at 26.5 percent in 2017 and 24.5 percent in 2016. Walks have always been an issue for Romero, who has posted an 11.1 percent walk-rate for his career thus far, though to be fair he has lowered that percentage down to 7.7 in 2018.

Finding the right pitch mix has seemingly been a challenge for Romero in his career thus far. Currently, he throws his four-seam fastball 70 percent of the time or more, with a cut fastball taking up the remainder. But things weren’t always this way:

To be perfectly candid, the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely continue to have Romero rely on his four-seam for a similar percentage. However, it may be curious to see if the club would like to explore the idea of a bit more curveball usage from Romero. Romero’s bender carries the second highest whiff percentage of any of his pitches — past or present — at a stout 45.5 percent. In case you were wondering, his sasquatch-esque (as in, rarely seen) changeup carries a 47 percent whiff.

Romero has all the necessary velocity — he averaged 98.25 mph on the four-seamer in 2017, though that is down to 96 mph this year — to turn heads, but the trust in the secondary stuff might not have been there for Romero consistently. Part of that was undoubtedly due to a bout with forearm tightness that landed him on the DL in 2017. Part of it might be that he was having more success with the four-seam, as hitters were tagging the cut for a .350 batting average over all of 2017. Whatever it is, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have their work cut out for them in figuring out the perfect mix for Romero to maximize the effectiveness of that dazzling fastball.

Our own Alex Stumpf had a great nuggest on just how unique Romero’s fastball can be:

Warts and all

Even in the years that he performed “well,” there is somewhat of a smoke and mirrors effect with Romero. In 2017 he carried the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career at 17.1 percent…but his xFIP was still a bloated 4.30. In 2016, he induced the most soft contact of his career with a 19 percent rate…but his HR/FB percentage also clocked in at a career high 13.7 percent.

Still, the Pittsburgh Pirates are likely enamored with the swing and miss potential that Romero carries. For a club that needs bullpen help stat, Pittsburgh could certainly have done worse than taking an “educated flyer” on Romero.

Jason Rollison is the owner/editor of piratesbreakdown.com, an analytically bent, fully indepndent media outlet covering the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before PBD, he ran the FanSided-owned Rumbunter for several years. Jason freelances for several print publications throughout the Pittsburgh region, and for other online outlets. You can follow him @rollisonwrites and @pbcbreakdown

Pittsburgh Pirates

Interview: Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Joe Block

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Today I had the pleasure of talking to Joe Block for the latest Locked on Pirates podcast.

The Pittsburgh Pirates found a good one when they brought in Joe Block to their announce team prior to the 2016 season. He graciously granted me some time for the Locked on Pirates podcast today while the club is in San Francisco. It was a lively talk that was very eye-opening in many ways. Here ya go:

 

 

Hear Joe’s thoughts on:

  • The role of analytics and advanced stats in his broadcast.
  • The maturation of Gregory Polanco
  • The “creaminess” of the current Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen,
  • And much more!

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

LOP’s Jason Rollison on ESPN Radio’s Adam Crowley show

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Locked on Pirates host Jason Rollison joined Adam Crowley of ESPN Radio in Pittsburgh to talk all things trade deadline. Listen in as they both try to process how the hell the Pittsburgh Pirates got Chris Archer

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

The Corey Dickerson Dilemma

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The latest episode of Locked on Pirates is LIVE. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ nine-game winning streak has re-fueled a few hot topics going around in Pirates circles.

The latest episode of Locked on Pirates is here:

 

 

Today we talk:

  • The Corey Dickerson Dilemma
  • GM Speak and why it is sometimes necessary
  • Left-handed relievers that could be available

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

Continue Reading

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