The Toronto Blue Jays lost closer, Ken Giles, to an elbow injury which has thrown other relievers into the spotlight and so far Jordan Romano has been thriving.
It is no secret that the Toronto Blue Jays face a tough challenge, with Ken Giles out of the lineup after receiving a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection.
So how does the bullpen shake out while Giles is away? There are several options to close games, one of which is Canadian Jordan Romano.
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Romano is a Markham native and was drafted in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft. After making stops in the White Sox and Rangers organizations, Romano found himself back with Toronto last season.
He spent five seasons in the minors across almost all levels, where he posted a career 25-18 record. His ERA was 3.52, and he sported a 1.256 WHIP. Romano struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings in the minors.
Romano got his chance with the big league club last season, and well, it did not go great. He appeared in 17 games and had a massive 7.63 ERA and 1.696 WHIP. He was still striking batters out at a good clip, notching 12.3 K’s per 9 innings. But after that, it was looking pretty bleak for the right-hander’s major league career. (All stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.)
Fast forward to 2020, and Romano looks like a completely different pitcher. In his four appearances so far this season, Romano has allowed two walks and zero hits, while also striking out six batters in four innings.
Yes, the sample size is tiny, and no, it is not as exciting as Nate Pearson. But Romano has shown that he should be pitching in high leverage situations for Toronto going forwards.
Anthony Bass appears to be the closer for now, after notching a save in the Blue Jays’ first game without Giles. Bass has been excellent so far this season but does not offer the strikeout upside of Roman, having recorded just two strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Rafael Dolis does not look like the answer early in the season, and Shun Yamaguchi has been an absolute trainwreck so far. Sam Gaviglio hasn’t been quite as bad, but is definitely a multi-car pileup.
The opportunity is there for Romano to seize. Do you think he will take advantage of the chance? Who should be the closer for the Toronto Blue Jays? Let us know in the comments below!