The Nationals officially re-assigned left-hander JC Romero to minor league camp today, meaning Henry Rodriguez will be the final pitcher in the big league pen on Opening Day.
Mar 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Puerto Rico pitcher J.C. Romero (32) reacts during the out of the ninth inning after defeating the United States 4-3 in the World Baseball Classic at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Davey Johnson had left the door open to Rodriguez starting the year on the disabled list as recently as Friday, but the fact that the team waited until today to make the announcement means they’ve probably decided Rodriguez is healthy.
It sounds as though the Nationals plan on using Romero on the big league roster at some point his year, and that his stint in Syracuse is just to get him some more preparation. Romero was signed last week, and while he pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, he only made on Spring Training appearance with the Nationals after being signed.
The decision to go with the wild Rodriguez instead of a more consistent Romero is an interesting one, but more on that later.