Jhon Romero
Washington Nationals – No. 73
Relief pitcher
Born: (1995-01-17) January 17, 1995 (age 26)
Cartagena, Colombia
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 24, 2021, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
(through 2021 season)
Win–loss record0–0
Earned run average4.50
Strikeouts3
Teams

Jhon Jairo Romero (born January 17, 1995) is a Colombian professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2021.

Career

Chicago Cubs

As a boy, Romero played catcher, but he began finding success as a pitcher as he matured. Older than most international amateurs when he joined a professional baseball organization, Romero was 20 years old when the Chicago Cubs signed him out of Colombia in 2015 and assigned him to their Dominican Summer League affiliate. At the time, Cubs scout Manuel Esquivia said the organization envisioned him as a possible future closer, as he touched 94 miles per hour (151 km/h) in his tryout with the Chicago organization.[1]

After spending two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Romero was assigned to the Cubs' stateside affiliates in the 2017 season and shot through the low minors, rising from the Arizona League Cubs to the short-season Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League before finishing out the season with the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League. He led Cubs relief prospects with a 0.86 ERA[2] and led all minor league pitchers who pitched at least 25 innings with a 0.62 WHIP that year, across the three levels.[3]

Promoted to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Advanced-A Carolina League to begin the 2018 season, Romero posted a 3.27 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over 32 appearances through July.[4]

Washington Nationals

Hours before the Major League Baseball trade deadline on July 31, 2018, the Cubs traded Romero to the Washington Nationals for Brandon Kintzler.[5] Although effective finishing out the year with the Potomac Nationals, Washington's High-A affiliate, Romero struggled in 2019 and was ultimately diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow in his right throwing arm. He underwent Tommy John surgery to replace the damaged ligament, missing the remainder of the 2019 season and not playing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

In the minor leagues in 2021, Romero advanced from the Double-A Harrisburg Senators to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. Across those two levels, he put up a 2.62 ERA while appearing in 38 games, all of them as a reliever.[7] On September 23, 2021, the Nationals selected Romero's contract from Rochester and promoted him to the major leagues for the first time.[8] Romero made his major league debut the following day against the Cincinnati Reds, pitching a scoreless inning of relief.[9]

References

  1. ^ Armenteros de la Hoz, Ernesto (May 7, 2015). "John Jairo Romero, un cachorro que lanza más de 90 millas". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Powers, Matt (September 8, 2017). "Chicago Cubs 2017 Minor League Stat Leaderboard". Minor League Ball. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  3. ^ Chase, Benjamin (September 10, 2017). "The 2017 Minor League Baseball Awards Team". Call to the Pen. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Gonzales, Mark (July 31, 2018). "Cubs acquire reliever Brandon Kintzler from Nationals". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  5. ^ Park, Do-hyoung (August 1, 2018). "Nats land Minors RHP Romero for Kintzler". MLB.com. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Dougherty, Jesse (September 27, 2021). "Jhon Romero's Nationals debut awaited at the end of the long path from Colombia to the majors". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  7. ^ Polishuk, Mark (September 23, 2021). "Nationals To Promote Jhon Romero". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  8. ^ "Nationals select the contract of Jhon Romero". Curly W Live. September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  9. ^ Reddington, Patrick (September 24, 2021). "Cincinnati Reds walk off on Washington Nationals in extras, 8-7 in 11 in GABP..." Federal Baseball. Retrieved September 24, 2021.