Where Does Jordan Romano Fit in the Texas Rangers Plans?

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 5: The outside of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before the American League Wild Card game between the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles on October 5, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 5: The outside of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before the American League Wild Card game between the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles on October 5, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers acquired Jordan Romano as a part of the 2018 Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings. Where does he fit in moving forward?

As a part of stockpiling as many prospects as possible during this rebuilding period, the Texas Rangers picked up Jordan Romano in a Rule 5 deal that brings him to Texas from the Toronto Blue Jays. He was selected with the 3rd pick of the Rule 5 draft by the Chicago White Sox and then swapped for cash considerations afterward. After the move, he slid in as the 25th prospect in the system according to MLB Prospect Watch. A right-handed pitcher, he continues to add much-needed depth to the upper levels of the Rangers minor league system.

What Did He Do Last Year?

In 2018, Romano spent the majority of the season in Double-A with the Blue Jays affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He made 25 appearances in Double-A working exclusively as a starter and went 11-8 on the year. His 4.13 ERA may cause some apprehension but he did manage an impressive 1.19 WHIP and held opponents to just a .237 batting average.

He also did make a single start in Triple-A winning the game while throwing 5 innings, walking 4 and striking out 3 while allowing 4 hits.

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Where Does He Fit in 2019?

While Jordan Romano did spend 2018 working as a starter, expectations are that his best place long term is in the bullpen. He features a lively fastball and an above average slider according to MLB Prospect Watch but his command and control limit his effectiveness in multiple innings situations.

He will get a chance to compete for a job in Spring Training as he basically has to in accordance with Rule 5 stipulations. If he can snag a spot in the bullpen, he likely also will make some spot starts in an admittedly weak rotation. However, if the Rangers aren’t’ sold on his ability to pitch in the big leagues next season, he does have to go through waivers and be offered back to the Blue Jays for a fee before Texas can send him to the minors.

That rule in and of itself gives him a bit of a competitive advantage in the race to lock up a relief role, but he’s facing stiff competition that includes some returning relievers as well as some fresh faces. I would guess he gets a job out of Spring Training in the Rangers bullpen but if he isn’t performing, Texas won’t wait long before slotting in one of their other up and coming relief arms.

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