From Sleeper to Surgery to Sleeper Yet Again

Davis Romero, who just turned 25, is not the most well-known southpaw with the last name ‘Romero’ in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. That distinction goes to 2005 first round draft pick Ricky Romero. Davis is a diminutive starting pitcher (5-9, 140) from Panama, who was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1999.

Prior to 2007, Romero posted career minor league numbers of a 3.37 ERA, 8.15 H/9, 2.43 BB/9 and 9.70 K/9. Impressive numbers but Romero continually had to prove himself at every level due to his size, or lack thereof. In 2006, Romero finally earned a late-season promotion to Toronto and posted a 3.86 ERA in 16.1 innings, but allowed 10.47 H/9 and 3.31 BB/9. He also had only 5.51 K/9.

In the spring of 2007, Romero’s body broke down and he underwent labrum surgery on his throwing shoulder and missed all of 2007. The good news, though, is that he is back and pitching in Triple-A Syracuse. The even better news is that Romero has looked very good, considering the severity of the surgery – one that many pitchers never make it back from.

While throwing with a strict pitch count, Romero has posted a 1.54 ERA in four starts. Over 11.2 innings, Romero has allowed only four hits and two runs. He has also struck out 13 and has not allowed a hit to a left-handed batter. On the down side, Romero has walked seven and is allowing as many flyballs as groundballs.

Even so, Romero is an interesting player to keep an eye considering the scarcity of quality left-handed pitching at the major league level.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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