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The season got out to a rough start for right hander Sal Romano. His first start of the season saw him allow seven runs in 4.2 innings for the Daytona Tortugas. His second start of the year began well as he had not allowed a hit in 1.2 innings, but then took a comebacker off of the leg and left the game. Romano would throw 6.0 innings in his final two starts of the month, allowing just one earned run with a walk and nine strikeouts in that span. For the month he’d post a 3.93 ERA in 18.1 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts.
He carried his strong finish in April over to May. In each of his first two start he would allow just one run in 12.2 combined innings. That was followed up by allowing two runs in 8.0 innings without a walk and with six strikeouts. On May 20th he would toss 5.1 shutout innings with seven more strikeouts. His final start of the month lasted just 3.0 innings as he had some struggles, but he finished out the month with a 2.17 ERA in 29.0 innings with just five walks and 23 strikeouts.
For as good as May was, June was a big struggle. In the first four starts of the month the right hander posted a 6.98 ERA in 19.1 innings with 17 walks and 14 strikeouts. The Connecticut native finished out the month on a high note, allowing just one run in 6.0 innings with a walk and eight strikeouts. Overall for the month his ERA was 5.68 and thanks to his final outing he finished with more strikeouts than walk, with an advantage of 22 to 18 in 25.1 innings pitched.
Romano rebounded well in July. He allowed just one earned run in 13.2 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. Perhaps his best start of the season came on July 21st against Dunedin when he allowed just one hit over 7.0 shutout innings without a walk and with six strikeouts. He would finish up the month with a 2.59 ERA in 31.1 innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts.
That month earned him a promotion to Double-A and he got out to a strong start. He made his first start in Jacksonville and fired two perfect innings with two strikeouts before the rain came and postponed the game. That would be the high mark of his time with Pensacola though. In his remaining six tarts for the Blue Wahoos he would really struggle, posting a 12.00 ERA in 21.0 innings, walking 12 and striking out just seven batters.
His season was a struggle with consistency. He put together three strong months and had two poor months. At just 21-years-old, that isn’t uncommon and given that he made it up to Double-A at such a young age his struggles there weren’t entirely unexpected.
Fastball | Every year Sal Romano has picked up velocity and the 2015 season was no different. After sitting 93-95 in 2014 he took another step forward and sat 94-97 at times in 2015 and was even sitting 96-99 on some other nights. He also tends to get strong movement on the pitch with sink and running action.
Slider | The pitch works in the 79-83 MPH and flashes itself as an average pitch, but is inconsistent and below-average at times as well.
Curveball | The better of his two breaking balls, the curve comes in at 78-82 MPH. It’s an above-average offering when it’s at its best.
Change Up | His change up flashes itself as an average pitch, but still is inconsistent. At times it shows good fading action, but at times it can flatten out.
There’s a lot to like with Sal Romano. He’s throwing four pitches which could all be average or better if he can find some consistency with them. He throws in the upper 90’s and gets a ton of grounders. He’s got the size you want to see from a starter who could eat innings. At the same time he’s never gotten the results you’d expect from someone with his stuff as he’s just struggled to really put everything together. His slider and curveball can morph into a slurvy pitch at times, and he doesn’t seem to be too confident in using his change up often. He will be 22-years-old next season, so there’s plenty of time to work on being more consistent, but if he’s got to make the move into the bullpen down the line there is a lot to like in that role as well.