Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Enny Romero To Make Major League Debut Sunday


Jul 14, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; World pitcher Enny Romero throws a pitch during the 2013 All Star Futures Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of one of the most wide-open playoff races of recent memory, the Tampa Bay Rays are turning to 22-year-old Enny Romero to give them a lift. The left-hander is slated to make his Major League debut against the Baltimore Orioles Sunday.

Romero was 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA in 140 ⅓ innings at Double-A Montgomery this season. The native of the Dominican Republic impressed in his one regular season start at Triple-A Durham, logging eight shutout innings.

That impressive audition earned Romero a spot on the Bulls’ postseason roster. He made one appearance in the International League playoffs, pitching two shutout innings of relief back on Sept. 13.

Romero’s fastball reaches the high 90s and his slider has drawn rave reviews. His raw stuff didn’t result in a high strikeout rate, however, as Romero averaged 6.8 K/9 while issuing 4.6 BB/9. Jeremy Hellickson was scheduled to start, but is unavailable after appearing in Friday night’s 18-inning marathon.

Romero is in the right spot at the right time. Jake Odorizzi would likely have been the top choice to replace Hellickson, but he just pitched for Durham in Wednesday’s Triple-A Championship Game. J.D. Martin, who isn’t on the Rays’ 40-man roster, pitched in that game as well, leaving Tampa Bay with few options.

The Rays defeated the O’s 5-1 Saturday behind another strong outing from Alex Cobb, who pitched 8 ⅓ innings. That performance was especially huge because now Joe Maddon has a fresh bullpen behind Romero just in case things don’t go well.

Tampa Bay is the AL’s top Wild Card team, up a half game on the Cleveland Indians and a full game on the Texas Rangers. Romero will be opposed by Baltimore starter Scott Feldman. As a team, the Orioles’ OPS is 54 points lower against southpaw starters as compared to versus right-handers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. ET.