The philosophy is simple. The implementation is not.
“It’s not as simple as it sounds,” Romano said. “There are some of days when you just don’t have it. You don’t have a good feel of the strike zone or you don’t have your best stuff. You have to find ways around that. Luckily this spring I felt good every time out. Hopefully, I can improve on that and have another good start and make this club. I’ve worked really hard with Devin (Mesoraco) and Tucker (Barnhart) to build off last year.”
Getting around days without your best stuff is the reason winning teams prefer experienced starters.
“We are hoping, our young guys build off the experience they had last year,” Bryan Price said. “We want to see how they attack the strike zone. Can they pitch without their best stuff.”
In the last week, the Reds have lost Anthony DeSclafani to injury. Brandon Finnegan has been delayed by injury. They were expected to be in the starting rotation. Michael Lorenzen was competing with Romano, Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett and Cody Reed for the fifth spot originally. Lorenzen also is injured.
That presents a possible opening for Romano.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it would be nice to have a starting rotation in tact, that we anticipated being there,” Price said. “We’ve been in this situation before. We’ll deal with it. We’ll hit the ground running with what we have. I think what we do have is good.”
Price singled out Romano and Mahle for being ahead of the other candidates. Nothing has been decided but Romano is confident that he has performed well enough to win a job.
“I feel like I’ve shown what I’m capable of doing,” Romano said. “I can help the team in whatever way possible.”
Romano is aware of the competition but welcomes it.
“Overall, as a team it’s going very well,” Romano said. “We’ve played better down the stretch. Pitching wise, we had a lot of guys coming into camp ready to go. We are excited to start the season. A lot of guys have made a good impression to Bryan and the front office to show that they belong on this team. It’s out of my hands at this point. Whatever happens, I’ll be ready.”