Sal Romano made his Major League Baseball debut on Sunday afternoon for the Cincinnati Reds against the Milwaukee Brewers. The final line wasn’t what Romano or the Reds probably wanted to see: 3IP, 3H, 2ER, 4BB, 2K.

Defensively, he wasn’t helped out much at all by Arismendy Alcantara. His error in the first inning led to walk and an extended at-bat that cost Sal Romano 18 extra pitches in the first. Racking up pitches was the story of the outing for the right hander. He needed 82 pitches to get through his three innings of work. Whether it was nerves, or the adrenaline of making his debut, Romano wasn’t the guy that pounded the zone that we usually see when he’s on the mound. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com had this after the game from Romano:

“Obviously being your Major League debut, you’re pumped up,” said Romano, who allowed three runs (two earned) and three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. “You want to get out there and show everybody what you’ve got. I think the next start, hopefully, I will just back off a little bit, let my ball sink and go from there.”

The four walks and the pitch count, leading to just three innings, was the bad. Let’s focus on some of the good that came from the start for Sal Romano. His fastball averaged 95.4 MPH on the day and he topped out at 98 several times. The fastball, while showing a good downhill plane, also showed plenty of rising action at times. Some of the fastballs were more of the sinking variety, too, showing different looks.

There were only two change ups thrown in the game and 20 sliders thrown. With being behind in the count it didn’t lead to many secondary offerings on the day or a chance to really go after hitters with those pitches. The slider worked 86-90 MPH while the change up was at 87 MPH.

With his debut behind him, and hopefully all of the nerves that come along with that, we will get to see the Sal Romano that’s dominated in the minor leagues and pounded the strikezone over the last year-and-a-half.

Tim Adleman impresses in 2017 debut

Tim Adleman joined the Reds bullpen on Sunday and made an immediate impact. He started 13 games for the team last year and posted a 4.00 ERA. He began the year in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats. With the teams bullpen filling in so much early on he got the call. Sunday he took over for Romano and threw 4.0 innings with just one earned run allowed. He struck out five batters without a walk. While he’s generally been a starter in the past, I’d expect him to be the bullpen with the club moving forward.

21 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting, at least here, that he doesn’t.

  1. icehole3

    Question Doug which Reds affiliate is the most hitter friendly

    • Doug Gray

      Billings and AZL are both rather hitter friendly. Dayton is neutral-ish. Pensacola’s interesting because it used to be real hitter friendly (right handed hitters benefited immensely if they pulled the ball, but lefties suffered big time if they pulled the ball – it’s a weird set up), but they moved the LF fence back 17 feet and it was neutral overall last year. Louisville plays neutral-ish most years. Daytona is pitcher friendly as a league – the most pitcher friendly league in all of minor league baseball, but Daytona’s the one park in the league that is “friendly”.

  2. The Duke

    I saw most if Romano’s 3 IP, it also looked like he was trying to nibble on the edges too much even when it became obvious that he wasn’t going to get the call on that outside corner. Given 4/5 of the Reds starting rotation is on the DL (Bailey, Disco, Finnegan, and Davis) I’d have to assume that Sal will get another shot.

    If it were my call, the pitching staff right now moving forward would be:

    Rotation: Feldman, Garrett, Reed, Romano, Stephenson
    Bullpen: Adelman, Astin, Wood, Peralta, Storen, Cingrani, Lorenzen, Iglesias

    Then once Mesoraco is ready to come off the DL, Adleman or Astin head back down to AAA. Those two then continue to log miles in between Louisville and Cincinnati as needed.

    Adleman was shown in what I think his best role going forward is on Sunday. That long reliever who can give you 3-4 quality innings pitched. His stuff just isn’t the kind where he can faces good hitters three times, and preferably not two times, but he’s a smart enough pitcher to use what he has to get through an order once without giving up much.

    Having Reed and Stephenson as weapons out of the bullpen is nice, but it’s counter productive when the rotation is in shambles. Let these guys grow in the role we want to see them in long term while the opportunity is there. I understand the reasoning when Bailey, Disco, and Finnegan are all healthy and starting, but right now they have 4 starting pitchers on the DL.

    • CP

      I totally agree with you Duke, but a key name I noticed missing from your rotation is Arroyo. The Reds are going to have to be willing to make a hard and possibly unpopular decision to let him go.

      • The Duke

        Arroyo himself said he’s going to have to take a long hard look in the mirror if the results don’t improve.

    • sultanofswaff

      I agree with all of that.

      In terms of the bullpen, I’d also be hyper aggressive in shuffling guys back and forth to the minors in order to preserve Price’s ability to use the staff as he has so far. If we’re baptizing with fire guys with little experience above AA like Davis/Garrett/Romano, then why not do the same with relievers like Rainey/Herget/Guillon? It almost makes more sense because these are generally 2 pitch guys—-their stuff either plays or it doesn’t.

      It’s a chaotic way to manage a pitching staff, but I think we have a GM who’s not afraid to be unconventional. Under the Walt regime, I thought the movement of players between levels was too plodding and the one size fits all mentality was too simplistic.

      • Mustang John

        Rainey Herget and Guillon are not ready ready for MLB. I Am a huge fan of Jimmy and Jose.

    • Reaganspad

      I agree on Adleman but he is better than Bronson.

      For a GM who has been churning the roster to improve Bronson does not make sense.

      Not sure I am a fan of Feldman in the rotation either

      I get Reed into the rotation now. It does not make sense that you tell him to throw strikes and because of that you are in the pen, then watch the veteran Feldman walk 5 guys.

      Stephenson follows in the rotation

      Feldman and Bronson to the pen unless we can put Bronson on the 60 day dl

      • The Duke

        Feldman in the rotation for now just as a guy who can hopefully absorb some innings. Once guys like Disco, Finnegan, and Davis get back, then it should be more of a meritocracy. But when options are limited because of 4 starters on the DL, just get him out there and hope you can get 6 or 7 innings.

    • Daytonian

      Yes. If there was any redemption yesterday it was that Adleman looked good. Adleman has found a role with this team. And I am waiting to see Alacantara’s ceiling or potential–whcih has not been evident since he’s donned a Reds uniform (although is poor fielding is quite evident).

      • The Duke

        Sure Alcantara can’t field or hit, but hey, TOOLS!

  3. Mr. French Tickler

    Hate to be negative on a Monday but I gotta vent somewhere right>?

    I understand that the Reds can’t make roster moves/decisions based on what the fans want, but when your building a young nucleus that your selling to your fan base I think it would be mutually beneficial for them to showcase these guys. Playing Patrick Kivlehan and Arismendy Alcántara over Peraza, Winker, or even Scooter Gennett is so frustrating to me. I get that you want to get your bench guys some ab’s but lets not pretend either of those guys has shown any reason to be given an at bat or start in the big leagues this season. Like a few of you have mentioned, why are we stuck in this “are we competing today or are we trying to build today?” Two steps forward, three steps back.

    I felt the exact same way on opening day when the announcement was made weeks before opening day that Scott Feldman would be getting the start. Like most of us here, I love opening day. I’m only 27 but I have been to the last 3 of them and it really is one of my favorite days of the year. If you’ve been to opening day, you know that the tickets aren’t cheap. You know the beer isn’t. You know the food isn’t. You also know that it’s a day game, so a vacation day must be used if you are of the working class. As a fan who is nearly always on the glass half-full side, hearing Feldman would be the opening day starter was such a disappointment. I tried to tell myself in the grand scheme of things, it’s just one game. Then I thought…why couldn’t the Reds think that way. Did they negotiate in Feldman’s contract that if Homer or Disco couldn’t go, he would be guaranteed the nod? Why couldn’t they give that start to Brandon Finnegan?

    My last complaining point brings us to tomorrow’s game against the Orioles. I had this date circled on my calendar because it was a mid week inter league game against an AL East opponent not located in Boston or NY so tickets wouldn’t be sky high. As we progressed through our second week of the year, it became apparent to me that the rotation was lining up for Amir Garrett to get the start tomorrow night’s titanic struggle. I waited all week until finally on Friday the Reds announced Garrett was going to start. I was able to quickly convince 7 friends to go considering Amir Garrett was set to pitch, Manny Machado would be involved, plus I got tickets in row B for $15. Bought 8 tickets to the game based on this info. After my Easter fun yesterday, I check back on my MLB At-BAT app to find out that BRONSON ARROYO will be making the start on Tuesday night now, not AG. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?

    Maybe just bad luck on my part. Still going to the game. Still going to have a good time. Now I might have to go Wednesday too. Crap.

    • Wes

      You can prob find a better channel to complain about rotation changes and who they started opening day. You forsure have a legit complaint about the Garrett thing. If u find someone n p r they may help u.

      As far as not playing prospects I like the reds doing that. They show reed Stephenson and winker that cincy is their home but they aren’t going to rush them. That’s a different strategy then anything I have seen before so let’s reframe from judgment til we have more info.

  4. kevin zook

    liked what i saw, the d let him down ,once that happened.. tried to throw 100 mph instead of 94-95 with movement

  5. Cguy

    It’s 25 man roster for a reason & everybody (including Alcantara) has to start occasionally. I for one am pleased the Reds are carrying Turner & Alcantara (as well as several rookie pitchers) instead of older personnel. Some prospects will cut the mustard & some will just be cut. No need for rush judgments……………..this year.

  6. Michael B. Green

    Doug:

    Who was the last Red pitcher to jump from AA to CIN? If Arroyo does not perform well, I see that Tyler Mahle is lined up on the same day. There are likely a few other options (Reed, Adleman, Davis…) but was just thinking out loud.

    • Doug Gray

      As a starter? I can’t think of one. They usually don’t even do it with relievers. But, my guess is if Arroyo doesn’t perform well, Sal remains in Cincinnati when Rookie returns and Arroyo retires/is released. With Davis coming off of the disabled list, they can pick when he’ll come back, so they can line it up just how they want to.

      • Rick in Va

        Of course, Mike Leake jumped right to the big leagues from college, so that’s a much bigger jump.

  7. The Rage

    His fastball changeup routine was sluggish, more sluggish than it had been in his last AAA start. His total rep needs some more development. Not in RS league right now imo. People can complain about RS all they want, but that is the truth. Should not be in the rotation right now. Mahle has probably closed the gap, but he isn’t ready either.

    The only reason RS is not in the rotation right now is his poor prep for last season. So now he has to pay his dues.

    Watch the language