Is Romulo out of shape?
As expected the first wave of Major League cuts were announced today by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right-handed reliever Romulo Sanchez was assigned to Indianapolis making him our first official member of the ’09 Tribe. Congrats Romulo apparently you earned it during the winter.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington on Romulo:
“He’s got a lot of delivery work to do, and we felt that it was best that he do that outside of major league camp, with the way he came into spring training. He’s got a great arm and still has a future with us, but he’ll have to work his way back to the majors. He wasn’t in line to make this club.”
The line that jumps out to me is the “way he came into spring training.” That is a nice little tag at the end of a very specific line. Dejan Kovacevic from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feels this is a message-sending demotion. He compares it to a similar move last year with relief pitcher Josh Sharpless, who was eventually cut from the team. Word last year was that Sharpless was out of shape and that may be what we are to take from the quote today about Romulo. I will take Dejan at his word because he is there and I’m not. Last year as the players first arrived in Indy I asked several of them about Sharpless. Basically I wanted to know if he did in fact come into camp out of shape. They all said not from a conditioning standpoint, but he was not up to speed from an arm standpoint. I was told he was always near the front in team sprints and was in capable shape. Maybe it was players sticking up for another player, but they felt like it was a raw deal he was given last spring. I do know Sharpless was not in the Bucs plans and he was an example of some kind. Romulo was by no means lights out last year and it helps that he has an option left. (He has one for next year as well so we may be back here in 12 months.) I expect him to have success with the Tribe and get a shot some time this season in Pittsburgh. His stuff tells me that will be the case, but he will need to keep his head on straight. For now Indians pitching Coach Ray Searage can work with Romulo. If Romulo needs to get into shape Bar Malik will make sure that happens. Who can forget the job he did with Carlos Maldonado in 2006? Carlos won the team’s MVP award that year appearing in 100 games behind the plate and losing almost 30 pounds.
The other players cut were non-roster invitees. So LHP Daniel Haigwood, INF Pedro Lopez, and C Miguel Perez will be assigned to AA or AAA camp. Lopez and Perez may end up with the Indians. The next round of cuts is expected sometime next week.