Bulletin 2021: Jojo Romero

The 2021 Phillies reliever pen was slightly better than its 2020 counterpart, but one of the things this team desperately needed was a reliable reliever who could come in and stop bleeding. Romero could have been that guy and sometimes showed ability. However, his season was cut short when he underwent Tommy John surgery in May.

Statistics 2021

9 IP, 1.778 WHIP, 8 K, 4 BB, 4 HR, 7.00 ERA, -0.4 fWAR


The first good news is that Romero’s surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, one of the most outstanding surgeons who performs this operation. Dr ElAttrache’s patients have an 84% return rate at the Major League level.

As for his performance this season: the numbers are not very good, but his seven earned runs in nine innings are not very good. However, five of those runs were made worse by back-to-back appearances where he was clearly not at his best. Eliminate those two appearances and Romero allowed just two earned runs in eight innings. This is still an extremely small sample, but it better represents the extent of his eleven appearances.

The bad

Coming to the end of a season with a serious injury is always bad, especially with Tommy John’s reputation and rehab.

Plus, in the limited time he had before his injury, Romero has had a few less than desirable outings. As noted above, five of his earned runs came in back-to-back appearances on April 14th and 17th. Those five runs, including three home runs, occurred in a single combined heat of work. Due to the small sample size, it’s not clear if these appearances were indicative of the type of pitcher he is or if they were just luck.

The future

Tommy John’s rehabilitation typically takes at least a year, which means Romero is out until mid-season in 2022 at the earliest. He is under team control until 2023, with three years of refereeing after.

Final grade: F

It’s impossible to say what kind of season Romero would have had without Operation Tommy John in May. Unfortunately, these ratings are based on what actually happened rather than what could have happened. While the injury was out of his control, Romero’s nine-innings season was still a failure.

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